And a defiling of sacred places for the sake of trade:You defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your trading. (Ezek 28:18) The word for sanctuaries here is “miqdash” and is defined as “a consecrated thing or place, espec. a palace, sanctuary (whether of Jehovah or of idols) or asylum:--chapel, hallowed part, holy place, sanctuary.”
Satan seems to have had some holy places in heaven that he administered. Anyway he is accused of defiling them. The besmirching and defiling of the holy is very much part of Satanic activity. In this case it was Satan’s trading activity that did the defiling. Nothing is sacred to the purely commercial world of trade and this defiling through trade is seen in areas as diverse as the traders in the temple in Jesus day, to churches become bingo halls, to those trying to enter Jerusalem on the Sabbath in Nehemiah’s day, the push for Sunday trading in recent years, the prosperity gospel, the selling on indulgences in the Middle Ages, the trade in so called religious relics and the intrusion of crass commercialism into the gospel preaching of certain televangelists.
In Scripture there are a number of ways a sanctuary or temple can be “defiled”. These include the presence of idols (Ezekiel 5:11), physical destruction (Psalms 74:7, 79:1), human sacrifice of children to the pagan god Molech (Leviticus 20:3, Ezekiel 23:37-40), profaning the Sabbath (Ezekiel 23:38), trade (Ezekiel 28:18), having priests who were foreigners, that is not of the covenant people (Ezekiel 44:7) [This would be the equivalent having a non-Christian pastor today.] Antiochus Epiphanes, the type of the Anti-Christ defiled the sanctuary by removing the daily sacrifices and setting up an image of Zeus (Daniel 11:31). Finally the church is defiled by false doctrine not founded on Christ (1 Corinthians 3:10-17).
Unjust trade does all this and more. Third World debt repayments are estimated to result in 7 million children a year dying just a surely if they had been fed to Molech. Sanctuaries and holy places are physically destroyed or removed. I was regularly preached at a lovely old church that was physically removed miles out of town because McDonalds wanted the prime corner block and the denominational hierarchy wanted the money. I was also a member of a Baptist church that appointed a pastor who was clearly unconverted because of his good management skills, and because he was recommended by people of money and influence. Shameful idols are erected by some businesses to placate local religious minorities and false doctrine based on Mammon abounds. The idolatrous nature of trade offends Christians, Jews and Muslims. The Sabbath is kept very strictly in some parts of Israel and buses traveling through orthodox Jewish neighborhoods on the Sabbath are stoned. In Islamic countries there is a strong feeling that Western influence is idolatrous and defiling and so the USA, which is the source of so much of this defilement is seen as “The Great Satan”. But how does God feel? God is furious and this defilement of holy places was seen as a “multitude of iniquities” that resulted in a fiery doom.