Ezekiel 23:1-49, Hebrews 10:18-39, Psalms 109:1-31, Proverbs 27:13
Today is the 11th day of November. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian and it is, of course, great to be here with you as we take this next step forward in the Scriptures this year. And as we get our work we going we’re reading from the Christian Standard Bible this week. Ezekiel chapter 23 today.
Okay. So, let’s just…let’s just reread a passage from our reading in Ezekiel today. “Yet she multiplied her acts of promiscuity, remembering the days of her youth when she acted like a prostitute in the land of Egypt and lusted after her lovers whose sexual members were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of stallions. So, you revisited the depravity of your youth when the Egyptians caressed your nipples to enjoy your youthful breasts.” So, are we all paying attention here? Like is everyone paying attention right now, because that was sort of the point? So, I mean Ezekiel chapter 23 is one of the most graphic portions in the Scriptures, and pretty much not a year goes by that I don’t get a bunch of emails, like “I don’t why…what’s this doing in the Bible” kind of questions. And I guess the fundamental answer is because God said those things and they were written down by the prophet Ezekiel. So, I mean we can approach us a couple of ways. We can say, “ooo, I don’t like that kind of language being in my Bible. And, so, if God said it…well…I have a weird feeling about God. And yet as graphic as it might be, God is simply saying this is where you will end up if you do that. Or we could say, “what is going on here? Why is God choosing this particular imagery and memorializing it for all time in the Scriptures? If we simply go back and we remember the story of the baby girl lying in her blood left abandoned to die and then God shows up and says, “live”, and cares for her and meets her every need and she grows up to be beautiful and marries Him and they have children together that she then sacrifices and that she then abandons the Lord in favor of adulterous relationships with anyone that she can find, well then when we get to this kind of language in the 23rd chapter of Ezekiel it starts all making sense. God had entered into an exclusive covenantal relationship, the bonds of which were as powerful, if not more powerful than marriage itself because this is the language God chose to use and his vision was for an exclusive family, His family, set apart and made holy. And He offered painstakingly the parameters of what that would look like. If they would obey and live within that covenantal relationship as a people before their God, then there was nothing that they couldn’t do that the entire world would be blessed because of them. And yet their story, and we have read so much of this story by now that we know this by heart, they won’t be faithful, they won’t stay true. And God sends prophet after profit saying, “like this is what you need to do. You need to return to me. You need to come home.” Finally, in the book of Ezekiel we get it, like full force, “this is what you are doing. You are inviting mixture. You are inviting all of these foreign lovers into our exclusive covenantal relationship. Your lust for other lovers is making you this gusting. Can’t you see how far you have fallen. You are sacrificing my children born in this exclusive covenantal relationship, these children who are set apart to me, these children that are holy, you are sacrificing them to fall God’s. Do you not see what you are doing?” Well, understanding this helps us understand why God is being sold graphic. Because we’re reading this, and we can be off put by it, but we certainly understand what’s being said here. Okay. So, if we can wrap our minds around what’s being said here and go, “okay. Alright. I…I see…I see that my heavenly Father…I see that the Lord here is exasperated and brokenhearted even. Sad, even. Jealous, even”, which He says He is on a number of occasions. So, we can get our minds around this and say, okay, I see what they…what they were doing but I wouldn’t think of sacrificing one of my children to an idol. So, that’s not me.” And yet really the point isn’t so much all of the things that they were doing. Those were the repercussions of the path they had chosen. It was the mixture, inviting other lovers into a covenantal relationship. And that can hit home pretty quickly. I mean we can say, “well I’m not committing adultery. I’m…like I’m faithful to my spouse.” Awesome. Awesome. Me too. We’re all supposed to be. But are we being faithful to God? And I’m not sure I need to like come up with a bunch of examples. I think we can just leave it there. This, what we have been reading is what unfaithfulness looks like, where it leads, how God feels about it, what it does to his heart. I mean, I’m a man, so I can process this from a male perspective and say that when God talks about other men fondling the one He loves, I don’t like the thought of that. I don’t think any of us do. And what God’s talking about here is those who are actually seeking these kind of adulterous relationships, those who are looking outside of a covenantal relationship to find some sort of life that they think is gonna make them more happy. And if will sit with it, if we’ll go into this, and the Bible offers us all kinds of opportunities just to go into places that we don’t necessarily want to examine. But if we’ll sit with us today with the imagery, with the starkness of it all and consider ourselves in the story then we may find we’ve been flirting with destruction in one way or another and it’s heartbreaking and it’s supposed to be. And maybe it’s time to stop.
Father we invite Your Holy Spirit into that. It’s a convicting thing so it’s an uncomfortable thing. And yet You…You have proven in the Scriptures that You…You don’t have a problem making us uncomfortable. If it’s an attempt to free us, to give us freedom, You don’t mind breaking through these uncomfortabilities. So, we invite Your Holy Spirit to show us places that we have chased other lovers, the places that we have broken faith with You. We repent. It’s so starkly on the page before us that we…we see it makes us uncomfortable as it’s supposed too. And, so, we’re facing it. Come Holy Spirit. Convict us of the places that we…that we are chasing life outside of You. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.