Judgment on Jerusalem

Researchers with the National Study of Youth and Religion have concluded American teens believe in a combination of works based righteousness, religion as psychological well-being, and a distant, non-interfering god. With no place for sin, judgment, salvation, or Christ; th … More

Judgment

God is gathering all Jerusalem’s hoped-for lovers into an invading army. They will attack from the north in huge numbers, well-organized and well-armed. They will execute God’s judgment on Oholibah for her abandonment of God’s law. She will drink the same cup of horror and desolation as her sister (vv. 22-35).Ezekiel gave four oracles, each beginning with the words, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says” (vv. 22, 28, 32, 35). The oracles all focused on Jerusalem’s judgment. Those Jerusalem despised would be the ones who would punish her.

When the Babylonians would attack Jerusalem with military officers, weapons, and well-protected soldiers the city would not escape (vv. 22-27). Also some of Jerusalem’s children would be carried away as slaves, others would be burned by fire, and her possessions (clothes and jewelry) would be stripped away. This second oracle adds that when the Babylonians were done, Jerusalem would be left naked and bare (vv. 28-31). Though ashamed, this punishment would come because of her promiscuity in seeking aid from other nations and becoming perverted by their idols. Since she had sinned like her sister, she would be punished in a similar way by the sword and exile (vv. 32-34).

This third oracle of judgment against Jerusalem differs from the others because it is a poem. The point of the poem, which might be titled “The Cup of God’s Judgment,” is that Jerusalem was to take part in Samaria’s judgment because she had taken part in Samaria’s sin (vv. 32-34).This fourth oracle presents the main reason Jerusalem was to be judged (v. 35). She had forgotten God and thrust Him behind her back. Jerusalem’s illicit affairs with other nations came after she forgot her source of protection and openly rejected God. Because of this rejection, she must bear the consequences.

Application

Jerusalem’s big problem was that she had forgotten God. Not matter what the circumstances of life may be, Lord help me to never forget all you have done for me.

Ezekiel 23:22-35 (English Standard Version)

Therefore, O Oholibah, thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I will stir up against you your lovers from whom you turned in disgust, and I will bring them against you from every side: the Babylonians and all the Chaldeans, Pekod and Shoa and Koa, and all the Assyrians with them, desirable young men, governors and commanders all of them, officers and men of renown, all of them riding on horses. And they shall come against you from the north with chariots and wagons and a host of peoples. They shall set themselves against you on every side with buckler, shield, and helmet; and I will commit the judgment to them, and they shall judge you according to their judgments. And I will direct my jealousy against you, that they may deal with you in fury. They shall cut off your nose and your ears, and your survivors shall fall by the sword. They shall seize your sons and your daughters, and your survivors shall be devoured by fire. They shall also strip you of your clothes and take away your beautiful jewels. Thus I will put an end to your lewdness and your whoring begun in the land of Egypt, so that you shall not lift up your eyes to them or remember Egypt anymore. "For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will deliver you into the hands of those whom you hate, into the hands of those from whom you turned in disgust, and they shall deal with you in hatred and take away all the fruit of your labor and leave you naked and bare, and the nakedness of your whoring shall be uncovered. Your lewdness and your whoring have brought this upon you, because you played the whore with the nations and defiled yourself with their idols. You have gone the way of your sister; therefore I will give her cup into your hand. Thus says the Lord GOD: "You shall drink your sister's cup that is deep and large; you shall be laughed at and held in derision, for it contains much; you will be filled with drunkenness and sorrow. A cup of horror and desolation, the cup of your sister Samaria; you shall drink it and drain it out, and gnaw its shards, and tear your breasts; for I have spoken, declares the Lord GOD. Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because you have forgotten me and cast me behind your back, you yourself must bear the consequences of your lewdness and whoring."

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