Ezekiel 9

Those who live in sin and hate to be reformed, despising God’s Word, will perish in sin,
and deserve not to be pitied, for they could have prevented their ruin, but would not.
None of those, however, shall be lost whom God has marked for life and salvation.

1 He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand.

2 And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar.

3 And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side;

4 And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.

5 ¶ And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity:

6 Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.

7 And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city.

8 ¶ And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem?

9 Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The LORD hath forsaken the earth, and the LORD seeth not.

10 And as for me also, mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will recompense their way upon their head.

11 And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast commanded me.

Ezekiel 9:6—Come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary.

​   All these visions were given, as we learn from the first chapter, as Ezekiel was with the earlier groups of Hebrew captives in Babylon. His thoughts were greatly engrossed by what was transpiring in the beloved city among the remnant still residing there. The six men represented judgments yet impending, and the man clothed in linen with the inkhorn, the discriminating righteousness of God’s judgments.
   Judgment begins with the house of God; with those of us who are called to teach and preach, and bear office in the Church. The six men who had the slaughter-weapons began at the elders, described in the previous chapter, who were before the house. If any such are living in sin, God’s judgment must fall first and more heavily on them, because they know better and profess more than others. But let it be remembered always that repentance and the putting away of sin will always avert the sword. “If thou wilt put away thine abominations… then shalt thou not remove” (Jeremiah 4:1).
   Amid scenes of judgment, whether in the Church or the world, there is always a remnant, upon whom is the mark; on Lot in Sodom; on Israel amid the plagues of Egypt; on Rahab in the fall of Jericho; on the 144,000 at the Great Tribulation. They are safe amid the fiery indignation which devours the adversaries. Have we been touched by the blood, sealed by the Spirit, and branded with the mark of the brand of Jesus? Without doubt we have, if we know what it is to sigh and cry for the abominations that are wrought around us, and of which our own nature is capable, except for the grace of God. These are the signs which indicate the humbling, sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. —Our Daily Homily