Ezekiel: Jerusalem as an Unfaithful Woman

Jerusalem as an Unfaithful Woman


Text: Ezekiel 16

 

I.         A vision to let Jerusalem understand the depth of her abomination

            A.        A common theme - Isaiah 58:1; Hosea 8:1

            B.        Jerusalem is a representation of all of Israel

II.        Her birth - Ezekiel 16:3-6

            A.        Spiritual, Jerusalem is born of the Canaanites. - Isaiah 1:3-4

                        1.         To acknowledge their physical descent from Abraham would dishonor Abraham.

                        2.         The nations picked as “parents” were the ones most idolatrous, powerful, and the ones God selected for destruction -Genesis 15:16; Joshua 1:4; Amos 2:9

            B.        At birth, she was immediately rejected. Her mother did not even cut the umbilical cord, nor washed the child of the birth blood, nor tenderly clothed.

                        1.         Description is that of common method of abortion in ancient days. A child left to die at birth, usually because of some deformity - Hosea 2:3

                        2.         God’s promise - Leviticus 18:24-28

                        3.         God did not select Israel because of their greatness - Deuteronomy 7:6-8

                        4.         Not because of their righteousness - Deuteronomy 9:4

                        5.         Similar to our own election - Romans 5:8

            C.        God saw and was compassionate and cause Israel to live

                        1.         God brought Israel out of Egypt - Exodus 19:4-6

                        2.         God chooses whom he will have compassion - Romans 9:15

                        3.         What God has done for us - Ephesians 2:4-5

III.       Her growth - Ezekiel 16:7

            A.        Israel thrived under God’s care - Exodus 1:7; 12:37; Deuteronomy 1:10

            B.        Yet it started naked and bare, unable to protect itself - Hosea 2:3

IV.      God’s blessing upon her - Ezekiel 16:8-14

            A.        When Israel was full grown, God took her under His protection - Exodus 19:5

                        1.         Spreading the skirt appears to be a courtship ritual - Ruth 3:9

                        2.         Hosea 11:1; Jeremiah 31:3; 2:2

            B.        He entered a covenant with Israel - Exodus 24:6-8

                        1.         He became a husband to them - Jeremiah 31:32

                        2.         As Christ the church - Ephesians 5:23

            C.        He cleansed her - Psalm 51:7

                        1.         Just as we are cleansed - Ephesians 5:25-27; Acts 22:16; I Corinthians 6:11

            D.        Anointed or marked as selected - Psalm 45:7; 23:5

                        1.         Same for the Christian - II Corinthians 1:21

            E.        Clothed in salvation - Isaiah 61:10

                        1.         Same for the Christian - Revelation 3:18; 19:8

            F.        Jeweled as a bride - Proverbs 1:9

                        1.         Like the gifts given to Rachel - Genesis 24:22, 47

            G.        Well fed, living in luxury - Deuteronomy 32:13-14; Psalm 81:16

                        1.         She was beautiful - Psalm 48:2; 50:2

                        2.         She was royalty, since God was her husband - I Samuel 12:12

                        3.         Famous - Deuteronomy 4:6-8

V.        Israel’s unfaithfulness - Ezekiel 16:15-22

            A.        Forgot past and felt is was their own doing - Deuteronomy 32:15-17; Isaiah 1:21; Micah 3:11

            B.        They took God’s blessings and used it for idolatry - Hosea 2:8-13

            C.        She wasn’t choosy about whom she worshiped - Jeremiah 3:1-2, 6; Psalm 106:35

            D.        The more she had, the worse she became - Hosea 10:1

            E.        Committed spiritual adultery - Jeremiah 3:9

            F.        She used things dedicated to God for idol worship - Ezekiel 16:18-19

            G.        Israel even went so far as to give the children God blessed them with to idols

                        1.         Children are a blessing from God - Psalm 127:3

                        2.         Sacrificing children - II Kings 16:3; Psalm 106:37-38; Isaiah 57:5

                        3.         Something God never asked - Jeremiah 7:31; 19:5; 32:35; Leviticus 20:1-5

            H.        Through it all Israel forgot her humble beginnings.

VI.      The extent of Israel’s unfaithfulness - Ezekiel 16:23-29

            A.        God sees disaster ahead for Israel, but Israel moved deeper into her sins - Jeremiah 13:27

            B.        They have set up places of idol worship - II Kings 21:3-7

                        1.         Commentators note that the wording is the same as a brothel (house of prostitution). Their idols were often served by sexual acts.

                        2.         Jeremiah 2:20; 3:2; Isaiah 57:3-9

            C.        God compares Israel to a worn out prostitute who will take anyone - Proverbs 9:13-18

                        1.         So steeped in sin that it is no longer hidden - Isaiah 3:9; Jeremiah 6:15

            D.        It is not just idolatry. Israel has also been making treaties with foreign nations

                        1.         Isaiah 30:1-2; 31:1; Hosea 5:13; 7:11; Jeremiah 2:18

                        2.         Egypt looks attractive (large fleshly manhood), but also indicating depth of Egypt’s sins.

                        3.         Tried to take the wining side - II Chronicles 28:23

            E.        God threatens to diminish their allotment, their privileges, like a husband diminishing the rights of his wayward wife.

                        1.         God said that even the Philistines were acting better than they - Jeremiah 2:11

                        2.         The Philistines despised Israel’s behavior and were used to punish Israel - II Chronicles 28:18-19; Isaiah 9:12

VII.     Israel is worse than a harlot - Ezekiel 16:30-34

            A.        They have long acted as a harlot - Judges 2:17-19

            B.        Israel is degenerate - Jeremiah 4:22

            C.        In reality they were worse than a harlot. A harlot demands pay for her deeds. Israel offered payment to her lovers - Jeremiah 2:25; Hosea 8:9-10

                        1.         Sending tribute to others - Isaiah 30:6

                        2.         A danger for Christians - II Corinthians 11:2-3

VIII.    God’s judgment - Ezekiel 16:35-43

            A.        Because of your filthiness (literally copper or bronze) - Ezekiel 16:36

                        1.         Some commentators and translators believe it is a reference to the hire of a prostitute.

                        2.         Others see it as a cheap metal and therefore a cheap behavior (brazen excess)

                        3.         Jeremiah 13:22-27

            B.        Because of the innocent blood shed in idol worship - Jeremiah 2:34

            C.        God will use the very nations whom Israel sought alliances with and sought after their idols to punish them, along with her enemies. - Ezekiel 16:37; Hosea 2:10; Nahum 3:5; Ezekiel 23:9-10, 27-30

                        1.         Israel will be treated as an unfaithful wife - Genesis 38:24; Leviticus 20:10; John 8:3-5

                        2.         Or as a murderer is treated - Genesis 9:6; Exodus 21:12; Leviticus 20:1-5

                        3.         The nation will be stripped - Ezekiel 23:26; Isaiah 3:16-24

                                    a.         Clothing (walls, protection)

                                    b.         Jewels (wealth, items in temple)

                        4.         They will be attacked by armies - Jeremiah 25:9

                        5.         Their homes would be burnt - Jeremiah 39:8; 52:13; II Kings 25:9 (all same event)

                        6.         A public punishment - Job 34:26; I Timothy 5:20

                        7.         The purpose is to turn Israel away from idolatry and treating with other nations.

                        8.         God’s wrath would not be permanent - Isaiah 54:9-10

            D.        They forgot their origin - Psalm 78:42

            E.        God returns what they deserved - Ezekiel 9:10; 11:21; 22:31; Isaiah 63:10

                        1.         Warning to Christians - Ephesians 4:30

            F.        It will not be passed on - Leviticus 19:29

IX.      Family resemblance - Ezekiel 16:44-51

            A.        Jerusalem is just like her mother, the Hittite - Ezekiel 16:3

                        1.         God warned them not to follow the customs of the previous people - Leviticus 18:24-30

                        2.         They used the idols of Canaan - Psalm 106:38

                        3.         She hated her husband (God) and children - Romans 1:30

                                    a.         The Canaanites did at one time worship God - Genesis 14:18

                                    b.         Hatred of children seen in child sacrifices

            B.        She is like her sisters, Samaria and Sodom

                        1.         A repeated charge - Deuteronomy 32:28-33; Isaiah 1:10; Jeremiah 3:8-11

                        2.         Samaria is called “older” because she is most like Jerusalem and is more significant.

                        3.         Their daughters are the other cities around them.

                        4.         Both were destroyed by God

                        5.         Jerusalem didn’t just commit the same abominations, she did worse - II Kings 21:9; Matthew 11:20-24

            C.        Sodom fell because of wealth - Genesis 13:10; Isaiah 3:9; Amos 6:3-6

                        1.         I Timothy 6:6-10

                        2.         James 2:5-7; 5:1-6

                        3.         It creates a lack of concern for the poor

            D.        God punished them - Genesis 19; II Peter 2:6; Jude 7

                        1.         Jerusalem has done worse than Samaria or Sodom - Lamentations 4:6; Jeremiah 3:11

                        2.         By comparison, Jerusalem is making Samaria and Sodom look good

X.        God will restore but humbled - Ezekiel 16:52-63

            A.        Jerusalem looked down on Samaria and Sodom - Romans 2:1; Matthew 7:1-2

            B.        The same must happen to Jerusalem because her great evil “justified” Samaria and Sodom. She must suffer her chosen fate. - Amos 4:11

            C.        At the end of captivity, Jerusalem will return with the remnant of Samaria and Sodom. She will not be treated any better.

                        1.         Moab and Ammon, descendants of Lot, sole survivor of Sodom, would be restored - Jeremiah 48:47; 49:6

                        2.         Christ removed the distinction - Romans 10:12; 11:13-31

                        3.         It will bring humility - Ezekiel 14:22-23

            D.        Israel will gain a reputation, just like Sodom’s - Jeremiah 22:8-9; II Peter 2:6

            E.        They will be humbled as in the past - II Chronicles 28:5, 18-19; Isaiah 9:11-12

                        1.         They will have paid for their sins - Lamentations 5:7; Ezekiel 23:49

            F.        They had broke the covenant - Deuteronomy 29:10-15; Exodus 24:7-8

                        1.         They received what they deserved - Isaiah 3:11; Jeremiah 2:19

            G.        But because of that same covenant, God will relent - Psalm 106:45; Leviticus 26:40-45; Jeremiah 33:20-26

                        1.         That very kindness will bring them shame because God will treat them equal to other past, great sinners - Romans 3:3

                        2.         It will not be because of the broken covenant, but because of God’s mercy and the new covenant He will establish - Jeremiah 31:31-34

                        3.         Daughters of all nations - Isaiah 2:2-3; Ephesians 3:6

            H.        Others brought in to make them ashamed - Romans 11:11

                        1.         Removing all excuse - Job 40:4-5; Lamentations 3:39; Romans 3:19