Both Sisters Judged

We need to repent of the haughty way in which we sometimes stand in judgment upon Scripture and must learn to sit humbly under its judgments instead. If we come to Scripture with our minds made up, expecting to hear from it only an echo of our own thoughts and never the thu … More

Judgment

God declares that Oholah and Oholibah are to be destroyed, together with their children and their houses. God is holy, and lewdness and idolatry are to be eradicated from his holy people (vv. 36-49). In the final section of this chapter Ezekiel reviewed the sin and judgment of Samaria and Jerusalem. The history and judgment of both countries had been presented separately (vv. 1-35), but now they were combined for the sake of comparison. The sins of both nations were idolatry (vv. 36-39) and foreign alliances (vv. 40-44), and their judgments were the same (vv. 45-49).

Idolatry was common to Israel and Judah (vv. 36-39). The apex of their spiritual adultery was child sacrifice. This, one of the most detestable practices of the Canaanite religions, had infiltrated both Israel and Judah. The people were so hardened by sin that on the very day they sacrificed their children to their idols, they entered the temple with their children’s blood on their hands. Their very presence profaned and desecrated the house of God!

The spiritual adultery of the two nations was matched only by their political adultery (vv. 40-44). Ezekiel painted a vivid picture of the sisters preparing themselves for lovers (enticing other nations to help them). The reputation of the sisters was so well known that even the lower elements of society knew where to find them. The sisters were using their charms to gain others’ favors, so God reduced them to the status of prostitutes (Ezek. 23:3). God said that righteous men would sentence them to the punishment adulteresses deserved (vv. 45-49). Who were these “righteous men?” They functioned like elders who decided the fate of someone accused of fornication (Deut. 22:13-21). The judgment for adultery was death (Lev. 20:10), generally by stoning (Lev. 20:27;); and the judgments for idolatry in a city were the sword and fire (Deut. 13:12-16).

Application

I cannot praise God and wilfully sin at the same time.

Ezekiel 23:36-49 (English Standard Version)


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