Text: Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me. Â And the word of theÂ LordÂ came unto me, saying, Â Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them? Â Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the LordÂ God; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I theÂ LordÂ will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols;Â That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.Â Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the LordÂ God; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.Â For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to enquire of him concerning me; I theÂ LordÂ will answer him by myself:Â And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am theÂ Lord.Â And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I theÂ LordÂ have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.Â And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him;Â That the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God, saith the LordÂ God.Â The word of theÂ LordÂ came again to me, saying,Â Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it:Â Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the LordÂ God. Â If I cause noisome beasts to pass through the land, and they spoil it, so that it be desolate, that no man may pass through because of the beasts:Â Though these three men were in it, as I live, saith the LordÂ God, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters; they only shall be delivered, but the land shall be desolate.Â Or if I bring a sword upon that land, and say, Sword, go through the land; so that I cut off man and beast from it:Â Though these three men were in it, as I live, saith the LordÂ God, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they only shall be delivered themselves.Â Or if I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out my fury upon it in blood, to cut off from it man and beast:Â Though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, saith the LordÂ God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness. (Ezekiel 14:1-20)
Tweet: When a people and their political leaders are plagued by God over the idols theyâ€™ve set up in their hearts and the sinful stumbling blocks theyâ€™ve set before their eyes, even the piety and prayers of the most pious among them provides no protection to them.