Ezekiel 44:10-14 (NLT)
10 And the men of the tribe of Levi who abandoned me when Israel strayed away from me to worship idols must bear the consequences of their unfaithfulness. 11 They may still be Temple guards and gatekeepers, and they may slaughter the animals brought for burnt offerings and be present to help the people. 12 But they encouraged my people to worship idols, causing Israel to fall into deep sin. So I have taken a solemn oath that they must bear the consequences for their sins, says the Sovereign Lord. 13 They may not approach me to minister as priests. They may not touch any of my holy things or the holy offerings, for they must bear the shame of all the detestable sins they have committed. 14 They are to serve as the Temple caretakers, taking charge of the maintenance work and performing general duties.
In this chapter of Ezekiel he is brought once again to survey that which he has looked at before. It is a lesson we should learn to continuously review what God puts in front of us over and over again. Here we find a reproof send to the men who had served God but had fallen away. God says they must bear the consequences of their unfaithfulness. Their position of rank has changed and they are not longer able to minister as priests to God. They are requited to server the Temple caretakers, so they are not excluded, but instead can witness how others perform their duties before the Lord.
The Greek words nasa’ and ‘avon together indicate the consequences the Levites were to carry. The words literally mean to carry and continuously bare their perversity, depravity, shame, iniquity, and guilt as a consequence of their actions. God is more than willing to forgive our sins. In fact God still allowed the Levites to serve in the temple, but instead of being the leaders they became servants to others so they may once again learn how to carry out the duties of the Lord. So while God does forgive sin; there are still earthly consequences for our failures. A popular TV game show that ran from 1941-1988 was called Truth or Consequences. The object of the game was to answer a given question correctly or face the consequences of having to perform a zany embarrassing stunt. Ralph Edwards the creator of the show said, “From the start most contestants preferred to answer the question wrong in order to perform the stunt.” While the show had its humor if God told you there would be consequences for disobeying His commands, would you try to do things wrong to face the consequences or would you try your best to do what was right? Well the truth is the Bible does tell us there are consequences for sin, some which even bring death. Yet we continue on as though we would rather chance the consequences instead of following. Consequences can be devastating, so meditate on God’s word that you might know what is right and just to do.