The mark of the Lord !



Ez.9:3-4, ‘Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the [d]temple. And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer’s inkhorn at his side; and the Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.”

We read about the Lord   sealing man for the first time in Genesis 4:15, where He marked Cain, lest anyone should kill him. He was judged by the Lord for killing Abel by making him a vagabond and fugitive. Yet His mercy protected him from being killed by others. This mark of the Lord protected him. Later in Exodus, the mark of the blood of the lamb protected the homes of all Israelites from the angel of the death who slayed the first born of all Egyptian homes.

Ezekiel was a priest who was taken as one of the captives to Babylon, where he stayed with thousands of other exiles of Judah. During his exile, the Lord called him to be his prophet. There he saw the vision of the Lord and prophesied about the destruction of Jerusalem and the restoration of the land of Israel. The corruption of Jerusalem had brought much grief and pain to the Lord. Hence, He decided to destroy it’s inhabitants and while doing so, we note that God kept apart a remnant for His purposes and plans. And He kept a certain condition which qualified one as a remnant. The men who sighed and cried over the abominations received a mark on their foreheads. And these men were the remnant who escaped the wrath and judgment of the Lord.  What makes us sigh and cry for, determines whether we are a part of remnant.

Even these days, we as God’s children know for sure that the present crisis the world is going through is certainly a judgment upon the world. Just as in the days of Noah, as in the days of Ezekiel, the corruption of the world has grown so much so that it has invited His judgment in a way, which this world has never seen before. Nations are under the grip of fear, hopelessness and uncertainty. Lives around are in pain and starvation. And none has a remedy for this growing concern.

Being a God’s child and being well aware of the fact that all these are the beginning of the sorrows which ultimately point out to the much awaited promise of the glorious return of the Lord, what bothers us the most? What makes us sigh and what makes us cry? Is it the fear of joblessness or the uncertainty? We are indeed pained to see the lives around going through in pain and crying for them in prayers is our responsibility. But more than that, let’s not miss the point which the Lord is concerned about i.e the extreme sinfulness of this world. Gen.6:5, ‘Then [a]the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent[b] of the thoughts of his heart was only evil [c]continually.’  Gen.18:20-21, ‘20 And the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.”’ Lk.19:41, ‘Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it,…’. Time and again the Lord has expressed His grief over the corruption of this world. Let us make every effort to make sure that we are the part of the remnant who bears the mark of the Lord. For that, let’s behold the Lord in His holiness. Let’s discern the hatred of our Lord for the sin. If we truly have a burden for the sinfulness of the world and if we have a heart to cry out for the deliverance of the world from the power of sin and darkness, we are the blessed children of the Lord. This is the right attitude of serving our Lord. The church has been bestowed with many ministries i.e. prophesy, preaching, intercession etc. But any ministry that does not carry this divine burden i.e which does not aim to uproot sin is not accepted by heaven.

Mt.11:28 -30, ‘Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am [f]gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Our Lord does not enjoy to see His children suffering. He has asked us to lay down our burdens at His feet, for He cares for us. We who are burdened with the issues of this life, have only one place to lay our burdens. And in return, He has asked us to take up His yoke. God has only one burden i.e. salvation of all mankind. Ezekiel 18:23, ‘Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?’  May we express our love for the Lord by taking up His yoke.  The response to this invitation in turn marks us as the remnant. Only a loving and caring child can understand the burden of parents and willingly carry the burden for them. Similarly, carrying our heavenly Father’s yoke is the expression of our love for Him. The sincere and unconditional love for the Lord alone gives way to ministries accepted by heaven.

Ez.9:5-6, ‘To the others He said in my [e]hearing, “Go after him through the city and kill;[f] do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. Utterly[g] slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were before the [h]temple.’ Our God is a God of justice and none, not even one can ever stand before His justice. It’s only His grace and mercy that qualifies us to be the remnant. We who are washed with His blood and who are sealed and marked with His Spirit, are able to escape the wrath of God and eternal condemnation. 2 Cor.1:21-22, ‘Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, 22 who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.’  Let’s make sure that we are having this mark of His Spirit till we meet Him in glorious eternity. Rom.8:1, ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who[a] do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.’ If we walk according to His Spirit, we are marked and sealed by His Spirit.

Revelation 13th chapter talks about the beast, also called the antichrist who will deceive many and will cause all to receive a mark in their right hand and on their foreheads, without which no one can buy or sell anything on this earth. Soon after this Revelation 14:1 speaks about 1,44,000 who stood with the Lamb of God and had the Father’s name written on their foreheads. So all in this world are being marked, either by the Lord or by the antichrist. Choice is ours.

A seal is an identification mark which was put on letters and documents. This is a mark of protection, ownership and a valid relation. A sealed letter sets it apart from the normal ones. Similarly, if we are the remnant, we have an invisible seal on us. If we are aligning our lives as per the guidance of Holy Spirit and His Word, we are set apart as His people and are protected in every way.  Above all, we escape the eternal condemnation.

God bless us all

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