I never realized how “brutal” Ezekiel the Prophet could be! As in “brutally honest!” Plain, outspoken, nearly brazen at times. But his people needed to hear that message, spiritual “shock” treatment!
And a prime example of such is Ezekiel 23, the story of two sisters, two wicked women! “There were two women, the daughters of one mother,” Ezekiel 23:3.
Both have been immoral, for years!
Even their names are enlightening: “Aholah the elder, and Aholibah her sister.” Soon we learn that they represent the Jewish Nation, the older girl Israel (with her 10 tribes) and the younger, Judah (with her 2 tribes). Verse 4: “Samaria is Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah.”
The first name means “her own tent.” With “tent” in Hebrew being “ohel,” often a direct reference to the Tabernacle of worship. But Israel (since the days of King Rehoboam) had rejected God’s genuine Tabernacle and had built her own places of (false) worship! So she had “her own tent!”
Yet Judah (Aholibah) did not fall that quickly into apostasy. Thus her name means “the tent is in her!” She still housed the real Tabernacle, still had some semblance to true Jehovah worship! The real Tabernacle was literally IN her, at Jerusalem. At that time, anyway.
But both these sisters were ultimately “untrue” to Almighty God! Israel first (Aholah) … then Judah next (Aholibah). It’s really a sad story.
Read with me. “And Aholah (Israel) played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbours, which were clothed with blue, captains and rulers, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding upon horses. 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. Neither left she her whoredoms brought from Egypt.” Verses 5-8, wicked! Idols and the sex they (freely) allowed!
So God judged Israel: “Wherefore I (the Lord) have delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, upon whom she doted. These discovered her nakedness: they took her sons and her daughters, and slew her with the sword.” This happened in 721 BC, history verifies.
So you would think Judah would learn from her sister’s mistakes?
But not so.
“And when her sister Aholibah (Judah) saw this, she was more corrupt in her inordinate love than she, and in her whoredoms more than her sister in her whoredoms. She doted upon the Assyrians her neighbours, captains and rulers clothed most gorgeously, horsemen riding upon horses, all of them desirable young men.” Verses 11-12, enamored with handsome young (and brave) soldiers, the elite! Worse than her sister!
When the Assyrians faded from prominence, along came the Babylonians, more lovers! “And the Babylonians came to her (Judah’s) 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. So she discovered her whoredoms, and discovered her nakedness: then my mind (God’s Mind) was alienated from her, like as my mind was alienated from her sister. 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.” Verses 17-19
So, God judged Judah as He had Israel. With … invasion, captivity, sorrow and pain!
To His backsliding people, God’s Word of warning: “And they (their so-called lovers) 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.” The chapter’s very last verse!
God’s ultimate goal … HIS GLORY! (“… and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD.”)
That HIS NAME Be known.
And BE HONORED!
Friend, how are YOU living today?
Is your life pleasing to this wonderful (and Righteous) God?
— Dr. Mike Bagwell
To get the full “impact” of the chapter, read it all today. It is dramatic!