Ezekiel Chapter 16
I have never been to divorce court, but I imagine that it cannot be much worse then what I am reading in Ezekiel 16. Every abomination, every reckless act of a whore with her objects of lust, are laid out before her. She can deny none of it. Then…
Therefore, O harlot, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the Lord GOD, “Because your lewdness was poured out and your nakedness uncovered through your harlotries with your lovers and with all your detestable idols, and because of the blood of your sons which you gave to idols, therefore, behold, I will gather all your lovers with whom you took pleasure, even all those whom you loved and all those whom you hated. So I will gather them against you from every direction and expose your nakedness to them that they may see all your nakedness. “Thus I will judge you like women who commit adultery or shed blood are judged; and I will bring on you the blood of wrath and jealousy. Ezekiel 16:35-39 nasu
Beautiful Jerusalem, the apple of God’s eye, blessed beyond any other. She went out of her way to please everyone except the God who loved her when no one else even saw her.
Such a sad story. Of coarse we would never act like Jerusalem, right?
I am an American; I know from looking at the stats for this blog that there are people from all over the world who give me the honor of reading my blog. I try to stay within the context of a passage, knowing that Ezekiel wrote to Jews from Israel. I am not a replacement theology person. But I see a lesson in chapter 16 for America. Please indulge me.
America began as nothing special. A harsh destination across an aggressive ocean. We sing, “God shed His Grace on Thee.” and know it to be true (at least those of us who remember what America was). We became the whore, we “spread our legs” for everyone, those we liked and those we hated. We paid them instead of them paying us for our lust. We sacrificed the blood of our children but instead of dropping them into the belly of an idol, we take them from the belly of their mom’ma. If there was something we could do to spit in the Almighty’s face, we made sure we did do it. The shrine to our self is our insane belief we made America great, not the Almighty.
“I will also give you into the hands of your lovers, and they will tear down your shrines, demolish your high places, strip you of your clothing, take away your jewels, and will leave you naked and bare. “They will incite a crowd against you and they will stone you and cut you to pieces with their swords. They will burn your houses with fire and execute judgments on you in the sight of many women. Then I will stop you from playing the harlot, and you will also no longer pay your lovers. So I will calm My fury against you and My jealousy will depart from you, and I will be pacified and angry no more. Because you have not remembered the days of your youth but have enraged Me by all these things, behold, I in turn will bring your conduct down on your own head,” declares the Lord GOD, “so that you will not commit this lewdness on top of all your other abominations. Ezekiel 16:39-43
Some thirty or so years ago, the Reverend Billy Graham, whom most of America respected, proclaimed, “If God does not judge America, then He should apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.” We thought then that we are as bad as it can get. We are so much worse today then we were 30 years ago. But are we at the point of no return? Anything less then a great intervention and time of repentance to God, a time of sack cloth and ashes in the great cities and in the countryside of America and we are done. I do not see the Left repenting and turning to God. I do not see the Right forgiving others and confessing their own sin. Our one hope is 2 Chronicles 7:14
“If I (God) shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place. 2 Chronicles 7:13-15
How will we ever break the wall between the left and the right, between denominations, between one generation and another? The division that divides us is huge and we are a people who hate one-another not based on any action but on our acceptance or rejection of President Trump. How does that stop? Is our doom sealed? Every side is passionately convinced that if only everyone else would follow our lead, if THEY would compromise and do as we do, then all would be set right with the world. But each of us is deeply offended by the other side, how do we overcome? It is impossible!
“It only takes a spark to get a fire going…” From the Childrens Church song “Pass it On”
In High School, I needed a quarter credit in social science for my graduation requirements. I waited so long, (really did not like social sciences) until there was only one quarter credit class left. I do not remember what the class was called, but in it I learned why American Indians hate people like me, I learned why black people hate me, I learned why citizens of other nations hate me. (The conclusion, the solution… suck it up buttercup, just get used to it and accept it, you are hateful because someone else who looks like you did them dirty… this was in the 70’s) We learned that there was one country that was so busy hating themselves that they had no time to hate Americans. The Irish. They hated each other because one side was protestant and the other side was catholic, and that could never be resolved, they were doomed to live under the heel of their English masters (whom both sides hated). The teacher (a man named O’Neil) seemed to believe the solution was to outlaw church. He himself was a Buddhist and spent half of my quarter class teaching us how to be buddhists. I got my quarter credit with my belief that I am hated for no reason that I could put my finger on other then someone looked different then me.
Imagine my surprise, not many years after graduation, when I first heard that there were two mothers in Ireland, walking hand in hand down the deadly streets of Dublin praying for Ireland. One was a catholic, the other was a protestant. Other mothers began to join them in their prayer walks, hand in hand, catholics and protestants. The news in America began to pick it up when those mothers formed a parade of prayer warriors. Not just in Dublin, but everywhere.
if My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, 2Chrionicles 7:14
Two women of faith, held hands and prayed for the children of Ireland. I’m told that Ireland is a completely different country these days. What if a conservative and a progressive held hands and walked the streets of Everett, or Seattle, or LA or New York or DC? What if WE humbled OUR SELF, and let the other person worry about humbling them self. Might we save America before she falls? I once thought Ireland had passed the point of no return.
Debs in Everett, Washington Remembering Mark Lowery (author of the hymn, “Mary Did You Know”) Who says he is a recovering Baptist. He tells me, “Love the sinner… and hate your OWN sin.
Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you… James 4:5-8
You will want to read Ray’s essay on Ezekiel 16, he gets it.