And you will know that I am the Lord, for you have not followed my decrees or kept my laws but have conformed to the standards of the nations around you. ~ Ezekiel 11:12
God removed His hand of protection from Israel when they refused to repent after turning from Him. And here God promises, in the suffering that follows, that Israel will "know that I am the Lord."
How often did God warn them? How many chances did they have to turn back to Him and avoid His wrath? Plenty. They were warned and given numerous chances to recognize the error of their ways.
God wanted them to turn back! He didn't want to punish them. But they refused. Much like we are doing in the US today.
God has warned us as our nation declines in strength and standing, as more and more of our people slip into a state of poverty, as violence increases.
But our people have hardened their hearts and refuse to recognize the warnings. We refuse to turn back to the God who blessed us for more than two centuries when our hearts and heads were focused on Him. But God also promised to bring Israel back once they had learned their lesson and turned back to honor and worship Him.
And so it should begin with those who believe. It's easy to get swept up in the ways of this world, our ungodly culture's wicked ways. It's hard to stand for right while the majority proclaim and celebrate wrong.
But we must stand up and stand firm in the face of adversity and persecution. We must proclaim the truth when our society proclaims the lie. How will he who has ears hear if nobody speaks the truth? How will he who has eyes see if all believers are slinking in the shadows?
It's better to stand alone for right, than in a crowd for wrong.