“Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them?”
God is a holy God. He is also an all-knowing God. He knows whether or not you truly are following Him or merely using Him for convenience. The elders of Israel came to see Ezekiel to receive guidance from the Lord. They had failed to listen when Jeremiah had openly warned what would happen to the nation if they failed to repent, and even after being taken away captive for their sins, they still refused to remove the idols from their homes. Yet, when they wanted to know something, they came strutting to Ezekiel expecting God to pour out wisdom. God was not pleased.
A blind man who was healed by Jesus, when defending Jesus in front of the priest of that day, stated: “Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth” (John 9:31).
The elders of Israel who came to Ezekiel were sinners. They failed to address the idolatry of the people and where thereby guilty along with them. So, God had no interest in answering their prayer, going so far as to sarcastically rebuke them. The elders had no right to enter the presence of God because of their sin.
How, then, do we gain an audience with God?
Verse six yields the answer: repent. When we turn away from our idols and abominations, we willingly lay aside our sin and make a choice to never again partake in those sins. We cannot obey God partially and expect Him to hear our prayers. We must “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37). There is no “faking it” with a holy God. Our heavenly Father is not a magical charm who will come to our rescue if we say the right words. No, He demands complete surrender to His will, which means submission to Christ in our daily lives.
If you want your prayers to be answered, you must be clean in the eyes of God. Submit all your sins to the cross of Calvary and pray for the strength to avoid future temptation.