Then he cried in my ears with a loud voice, saying, "Bring near the executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand." And behold, six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his weapon for slaughter in his hand, and with them was a man clothed in linen, with a writing case at his waist. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar. Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub on which it rested to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed in linen, who had the writing case at his waist. And the LORD said to him, "Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it." And to the others he said in my hearing, "Pass through the city after him, and strike. Your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity. Ezek 9:1-5.
In Ezekiel’s vision did you notice who was marked out to be saved? Those "who sigh and groan" over the sins and wickedness they saw all around them in their society. Everyone else was killed. This implies that there might have been those who did not participate in the sins, but who turned a blind eye to the sin around them, who might even have found it entertaining. They were not spared either.
This makes me consider my dedication to righteousness. No, I don't participate in the sins that go on around me, but when I hear about some wild party do I mourn the wickedness or am I leaning in to catch every word, laughing along with others at the stories about the drunks? Do I turn off the television or am I one of Nielsen’s ratings? Do I mourn the hedonism around me or do I silently wish I could join Jimmy Buffet in Margaritaville instead of joining my brethren in worship?
I think too often some of us wish instead of mourn. When we see the rampant sin around us we should, as a holy people, be repelled, not attracted. We should sigh and lament the judgment that is coming for those sinners, not idolize their lifestyles.
New Christians might have problems developing this attitude; it won’t come immediately. But for those of us who have been Christians for 20+ years the concept of being holy like God is holy should be pretty well imprinted on our brains.
"Blessed are they that mourn ...”