May we be among those who lament

A loud voice rang in my ears: ‘Here they come, those appointed to punish the city, each carrying his weapon of destruction.’ I saw six men approaching from the road that leads to the upper gate which faces north, each carrying a battle-club, and among them one was dressed in linen, with a writer’s pen and ink at his waist; they advanced until they stood by the bronze altar. The glory of the God of Israel had risen from above the cherubim where it rested, and had come to the terrace of the temple. He called to the man dressed in linen, with pen and ink at his waist. ‘Go through the city of Jerusalem,’ said the LORD, ‘and mark with a cross the foreheads of those who groan and lament over all the abominations practised there.’ To the others I heard him say, ‘Follow him through the city and deal out death; show no pity; spare no one. Kill and destroy men old and young, girls, little children, and women, but touch no one who bears the mark. Begin at my sanctuary.’ So they began with the elders in front of the temple. ‘Defile the temple,’ he said, ‘and fill the courts with dead bodies; then go out and spread death in the city.’

While the killing went on, I was left alone, and I threw myself on the ground, crying out, ‘Lord GOD, are you going to destroy all the Israelites who are left, in this outpouring of your anger on Jerusalem?’ He answered, ‘The iniquity of Israel and Judah is very great indeed; the land is full of bloodshed, the city is filled with injustice. They are saying, “The LORD has forsaken the land and does not see.” But I shall show no pity, nor spare them; I shall make their conduct recoil on their own heads.’ When the man dressed in linen, with pen and ink at his waist, returned he reported: ‘I have carried out your orders.’

Ezekiel 9.

I just thought it was a marvelous bit of writing.

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