Take a moment to think about what defined the culture of the Greeks for hundreds of years. It shouldn’t be an excruciating moment of pondering. You might think about yogurt. That’s good thinking, but a bit too modern. You might think about lots of national debt. That’s true, too, but, again, a bit modern. You might even think about their myriad games that they loved. This, even more, is true and good; however, there is another topic that more inclusively encapsulates their culture.
Ezekiel 8:17 – “And He said to me, ‘Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it a trivial thing to the house of Judah to commit the abominations which they commit here?’” In the eighth chapter of Ezekiel God brings Ezekiel “in visions of God to Jerusalem (vs. 3).” When Ezekiel arrives in Jerusalem he is standing in the north gate door of the Temple’s inner court. Through the rest of the chapter God takes Ezekiel on a tour through the Temple to show him “the great abominations that Israel commits… (vs. 6).”
By over-generalizing God’s nature or character, we can form false impressions. As an example I cite the oft stated summation, “The God of the Old Testament was a God of judgment and condemnation.” Is this an accurate statement? How would we reconcile such a statement with Hosea 11:1-4?
The Apostle Paul began his stirring speech to the idolatrous people of Athens with this preface: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; 23 for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you…” (Acts 17:22-23)