Ezekiel

 

Ezekiel Chapter 23

 

  • Ezekiel 23:1 The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, 
  • 2 Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother: 
  • 3 And they committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth: there were their breasts pressed, and there they bruised the teats of their virginity. 
  • 4 And the names of them were Aholah the elder, and Aholibah her sister: and they were mine, and they bore sons and daughters. Thus were their names; Samaria is Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah. 
  • 5 And Aholah played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbors, 
  • 6 Which were clothed with blue, captains and rulers, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding upon horses. 
  • 7 Thus she committed her whoredoms with them, with all them that were the chosen men of Assyria, and with all on whom she doted: with all their idols she defiled herself. 
  • 8 Neither left she her whoredoms brought from Egypt: for in her youth they lay with her, and they bruised the breasts of her virginity, and poured their whoredom upon her. 
  • 9 Wherefore I have delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, upon whom she doted. 
  • 10 These discovered her nakedness: they took her sons and her daughters, and slew her with the sword: and she became famous among women; for they had executed judgment upon her. 

When the kingdom of Israel was divided after the days of David and Solomon, they separated into two divisions. One was called Israel and the other Judah although once Israel had become Samaria, Judah was known as Israel as well as Judah. 

The kingdom of Israel was the first to fall into idolatry and be taken over by the Assyrians. 

Notice that before this occurred Israel had desired to be like the Assyrians and followed after their idols. They also worshipped the idols of the Egyptians remembering them from the days they were in captivity to Egypt. 

All God did was allow them to see what the Assyrians really were like. He allowed them to be taken over and destroyed by the Assyrians. 

Assyrians were extremely cruel and fierce. That is why Jonah was reluctant to preach to them when he was sent to Nineveh. He wanted God to curse them and did not desire them to repent. They were very fierce and cruel. I will not describe some of the things they did but it was bad enough that God would send judgment by the hand of Jonah. 

Notice that God seldom destroyed a nation just because they had idols or served another god. It was because of the violence and persecution against His own people that would cause Him to curse the nation or their violence was continuing and harming innocent people, especially children.

In the case of Sodom and Gomorrah, they not only were violent but the had gotten so warped in their minds that they wanted to rape angels of God who had come into the city to speak to Lot. 

When a nation or city gets that bad, children are usually the targets whether they are raped, sexually abused, or sacrificed to idols. God has to put a stop to it. Nineveh was warned, they repented in the time of Jonah but after a few years they were right back where they were before and eventually they were destroyed. 

Before the Assyrians met their destruction though, they were mighty people and God had allowed them to bring judgment upon the first kingdom of Israel that had separated from Judah after the death of Solomon. This judgment came because the children of Israel desired to be like them and worship their gods. Like I commented on previous chapters, idol worship brought with it sexual immorality, bloodshed and all sorts of perversions. Innocent people were harmed. 

Israel was compared to a daughter that wanted to commit whoredoms with young good looking men. Real men rarely respect a whore though and will usually turn on her and hate her. 

God allowed that evil nation to bring destruction upon the nation of Israel. She became Samaria and never again rose to her former estate. 

  • Ezekiel 23:11 And when her sister Aholibah saw this, she was more corrupt in her inordinate love than she, and in her whoredoms more than her sister in her whoredoms. 
  • 12 She doted upon the Assyrians her neighbors, captains and rulers clothed most gorgeously, horsemen riding upon horses, all of them desirable young men. 
  • 13 Then I saw that she was defiled, that they took both one way, 
  • 14 And that she increased her whoredoms: for when she saw men portrayed upon the wall, the images of the Chaldeans portrayed with vermilion, 
  • 15 Girded with girdles upon their loins, exceeding in dyed attire upon their heads, all of them princes to look to, after the manner of the Babylonians of Chaldea, the land of their nativity: 
  • 16 And as soon as she saw them with her eyes, she doted upon them, and sent messengers unto them into Chaldea. 
  • 17 And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoredom, and she was polluted with them, and her mind was alienated from them. 
  • 18 So she discovered her whoredoms, and discovered her nakedness: then my mind was alienated from her, like as my mind was alienated from her sister. 
  • 19 Yet she multiplied her whoredoms, in calling to remembrance the days of her youth, wherein she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt. 
  • 20 For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses. 
  • 21 Thus thou calledst to remembrance the lewdness of thy youth, in bruising thy teats by the Egyptians for the paps of thy youth. 

Judah saw all that had happened to Israel and did the same thing. They began to remember the gods of Egypt and forgot the real God that brought them out of Egypt. They began to desire the ways of Babylon and the gods of Babylon. In the exact same manner as Samaria (old Israel) they lusted after the young men and went after them with passion. Babylon came and was friendly at first but they later destroyed all the land. 

  • Ezekiel 23:22 Therefore, O Aholibah, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will raise up thy lovers against thee, from whom thy mind is alienated, and I will bring them against thee on every side; 
  • 23 The Babylonians, and all the Chaldeans, Pekod, and Shoa, and Koa, and all the Assyrians with them: all of them desirable young men, captains and rulers, great lords and renowned, all of them riding upon horses. 
  • 24 And they shall come against thee with chariots, wagons, and wheels, and with an assembly of people, which shall set against thee buckler and shield and helmet round about: and I will set judgment before them, and they shall judge thee according to their judgments. 

This literally happened and for 70 years they lost their place and went into captivity. It was a horrible sorrowful time in history but it could have been avoided if they would have only turned back to God and repented. God gave them so much but they desired what the other nations had. They could have ruled the world but they forsook their maker and provider to lust after another. 

  • Ezekiel 23:25 And I will set my jealousy against thee, and they shall deal furiously with thee: they shall take away thy nose and thine ears; and thy remnant shall fall by the sword: they shall take thy sons and thy daughters; and thy residue shall be devoured by the fire. 
  • 26 They shall also strip thee out of thy clothes, and take away thy fair jewels. 
  • 27 Thus will I make thy lewdness to cease from thee, and thy whoredom brought from the land of Egypt: so that thou shalt not lift up thine eyes unto them, nor remember Egypt any more. 
  • 28 For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will deliver thee into the hand of them whom thou hatest, into the hand of them from whom thy mind is alienated: 
  • 29 And they shall deal with thee hatefully, and shall take away all thy labor, and shall leave thee naked and bare: and the nakedness of thy whoredoms shall be discovered, both thy lewdness and thy whoredoms. 
  • 30 I will do these things unto thee, because thou hast gone a whoring after the heathen, and because thou art polluted with their idols. 

Heathen people that didn't know the real God worshipped idols but in reality they worshipped devils. Along with this type of worship went sexual perversions and human sacrifice of children. They became cruel and violent. This is what both Israel and Judah had gotten involved in. 

  • Ezekiel 23:31 Thou hast walked in the way of thy sister; therefore will I give her cup into thine hand. 
  • 32 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou shalt drink of thy sister's cup deep and large: thou shalt be laughed to scorn and had in derision; it containeth much. 
  • 33 Thou shalt be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, with the cup of astonishment and desolation, with the cup of thy sister Samaria. 
  • 34 Thou shalt even drink it and suck it out, and thou shalt break the shards thereof, and pluck off thine own breasts: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD. 
  • 35 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast forgotten me, and cast me behind thy back, therefore bear thou also thy lewdness and thy whoredoms. 

We can't have God and sin at the same time. By serving idols they cast aside God. 

  • Ezekiel 23:36 The LORD said moreover unto me; Son of man, wilt thou judge Aholah and Aholibah? yea, declare unto them their abominations; 
  • 37 That they have committed adultery, and blood is in their hands, and with their idols have they committed adultery, and have also caused their sons, whom they bore unto me, to pass for them through the fire, to devour them. 

Adultery both literal adultery and spiritual adultery is committed when one goes into idolatry. We see here that their own children suffered by being passed through fire to these idols. The fire would devour the children. It is unbelievable the wickedness that Satan leads people into when they stray from God. 

God protects us from all these things but we must continue with God to be protected or else Satan comes in like a flood with the filth, lust and the trash of the world. 

This type of worship is coming back in the latter days. We do not yet see the violence at least not in the open but we do see sexual immorality in today's world. In fact if we speak out against it, we are considered hate mongers and bigots. 

In the book of Revelation, we see that the world at that time returns to idolatry and violence similar to what occurred in Assyria and Babylon. It is up to us to follow God and keep ourselves from these things that are coming upon the earth. God will judge them as we also see from the study of Revelation but before that time comes, we must keep ourselves from the filth of the world by abiding in Jesus Christ. 

When God sent Jesus to us, He ushered in a better way than trying to keep the law by will power alone. He made it easier to live in holiness. 

Through Christ we can be cleansed from the desire to sin as well as being cleansed from past sins. When we repent, God sends His mercy and forgiveness making us "just as if we never sinned." He then sends His Holy Spirit to us. In fact the Holy Spirit is what draws us to Christ in the first place. When we believe in Jesus Christ turning away from sin at the same time, we receive God's mercy and grace. We are then "born again" by the spirit of God. We then can always be filled with the spirit over and over again as we walk with the Lord. 

Satan will attempt to get us back into the filth and depths of sin that Jesus saves us from but we now have the power to resist him and cling to God. We still have the freedom to choose and we can return to the old ways but the Holy Spirit will convict us if we try and work to keep us safe until the return of Jesus Christ. We must abide in Christ and not go back to our old ways. 

Just as Israel had the power to choose, we still have that power to choose but we have the help of the Holy Spirit so that we will not desire to go back to our old sins. God has a better way but Satan tries to make us think that he has the better way. 

Satan tries to make us think sin is fun, desirable and that God wants to keep us from having fun and having good things. He tempts us to lust after the things of the world not letting us see the final end. 

People that are into sexual immorality: Adultery, incest, rape, unnatural sexual immorality, pornography, and even bestiality do not realize that they are destroying both their bodies and their souls. Their mind get corrupt and they are cut off from God. Repentance and faith in Jesus Christ can save anyone who gets into that stuff but if we don't come to Christ, we will get further into this bondage thinking it is pleasurable but in reality, they are full of misery and sickness. In the end they will destroy themselves. 

This whole chapter is a good picture of what sin does to one who denies God and chooses to abide in sin. Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus Christ came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. 

This chapter is a perfect picture of what rebellion against God brings a whole nation into. 

Remember Satan is behind all false worship, idol worship and atheism. He is out to bring souls into captivity to sin and to destroy all that he can destroy. 

God wants to save and grant eternal life. Satan tries to stop that process and deceive people into thinking they can have more fun and be happy going his way. In the end it brings eternal separation from God, misery and eternal hell. 

  • Ezekiel 23:38 Moreover this they have done unto me: they have defiled my sanctuary in the same day, and have profaned my sabbaths. 

When one tries to worship God and live in sin at the same time it really is defiling the sanctuary. 

They could not have a mixture of idolatry and try to keep the Sabbaths and feasts in the sanctuary. Some went so far as to bring the idols into the sanctuary but even if they didn't their hearts were far from God and the idols were set up in their hearts. 

We can do this today, having only a surface religion or form of worship but not living for God at other times. 

  • Ezekiel 23:39 For when they had slain their children to their idols, then they came the same day into my sanctuary to profane it; and, lo, thus have they done in the midst of mine house. 

They had slain their own children and then went to the house of God to feel better about it. Some believe they can sin all week and then confess to a priest, be forgiven and go out and sin again. 

Real repentance brings a change. That is what repentance means, to change, turn around and live for God. 

Yes we can be forgiven of sin but we must forsake the sin. The power of the Holy Spirit is present to help us do this but we must seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit when we come to Christ and keep seeking Him desiring to overcome sin and be partaker in the God's holiness. We can be covered by the righteousness of Christ but we must choose to remain in that righteousness and not go back into the sin He saved us from. 

Israel could have returned to God and been under His protection at any time but they did not do so. They forsook Him and turned to idols and followed the ways of the heathen. Some tried to serve God and idols too. 

We see that today. We see some that ignore God completely and have nothing to do with Him, we see some that desire to have a mixture of outward worship but sin remains in their hearts then we see a remnant that wants to live for God and wants nothing to do with the sin of the world around them. 

  • Ezekiel 23:40 And furthermore, that ye have sent for men to come from far, unto whom a messenger was sent; and, lo, they came: for whom thou didst wash thyself, paintedst thy eyes, and deckedst thyself with ornaments,

They decked themselves out to attract men for whoredoms.

  • Ezekiel 23:41 And satest upon a stately bed, and a table prepared before it, whereupon thou hast set mine incense and mine oil. 
  • 42 And a voice of a multitude being at ease was with her: and with the men of the common sort were brought Sabeans from the wilderness, which put bracelets upon their hands, and beautiful crowns upon their heads. 
  • 43 Then said I unto her that was old in adulteries, Will they now commit whoredoms with her, and she with them? 
  • 44 Yet they went in unto her, as they go in unto a woman that playeth the harlot: so went they in unto Aholah and unto Aholibah, the lewd women. 
  • 45 And the righteous men, they shall judge them after the manner of adulteresses, and after the manner of women that shed blood; because they are adulteresses, and blood is in their hands. 
  • 46 For thus saith the Lord GOD; I will bring up a company upon them, and will give them to be removed and spoiled. 
  • 47 And the company shall stone them with stones, and dispatch them with their swords; they shall slay their sons and their daughters, and burn up their houses with fire. 
  • 48 Thus will I cause lewdness to cease out of the land, that all women may be taught not to do after your lewdness. 
  • 49 And they shall recompense your lewdness upon you, and ye shall bear the sins of your idols: and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD. 

Now we can see clearly why God judged Israel and Judah in that day. Will He continue to withhold judgment on other nations that have known of His Son, Jesus Christ yet have cast away His word and His commandments like Israel before them?

In 1962 and 63, the United States courts ruled that bible reading and prayer could not be done in public school. Ten years later abortion became legalized in this same country. All was done in the name of freedom and liberty. 

If we don't want God, then we will not be under His protection. If we don't want God, He will not be there for us but someone else will be there and that someone pretends to be our friend at first but in the end he will destroy our lives, our souls and our country. 

I say this in sorrow. I see judgment coming upon the United States if we do not repent and turn back to God. I'm not talking about forced conversions and that stuff they had in the Middle Ages. I'm talking about repentance that comes from individual hearts crying out for the mercy of God. 

This type of conversion cannot be forced. 

When we read of the great whore in the book of Revelation, we see a great powerful religious system that deceives people into believing it is the real deal. This worship may allow one to have God and still commit sin as long as they remain within her system. The latter day antichrist and kingdoms at that time use this whore to gain power but in the end they burn her with fire and destroy her. 

Of course God then judges the kings and the antichrist but we see that false religion, idolatry and any religion that allow sin and still promise us eternal life, is false. 

There is no other way of salvation except through Jesus Christ but what does Jesus bring us? He cleanses us from sin and gives us the Holy Spirit. We are to turn away from sin and not remain in it. He came to save us from sin, not save us in sin. 

Sin is both within and in action. Adultery, fornication, sexual perversion is sin and will destroy us but so is hatred, greed, pride and selfishness. Some of us may look holy on the outside but still hate our neighbors. Some of us may love our neighbors but we living in sexual immorality and be dressing in a way that attracts the wrong kind of admirers. 

We need the cleansing from within first and then it will cause us to desire to look like God is within us and not look like the world. We can't get that backward and just look the part and still have sin in the heart. 

We use to have churches that majored in outward appearance and looked the part but inwardly they were full of cruelty and hatred. We got rid of that stuff but now we have gone to looking like the world, going to the same places, speaking the same and we can't even tell the difference. 

That is not the love of God. We can't win the lost by compromise and being like them but we can't be so wrapped up in ourselves and how we look that we forget to bring them the gospel either. There has to be a godly balance. We don't want to correct one type of error and replace it with another type of error. 

Christ will change us from the inside out, not the other way around.  

Ezekiel Chapter 24

Ezekiel Index

 
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