TO CHEW ON: "You are an adulterous wife who takes strangers instead of her husband." Ezekiel 16:32
Yesterday we saw how God rescued Jerusalem from her hopeless beginnings as an unwanted newborn. He nourished her until she was grown, then took her as His wife. He dressed her in extravagant garments, adorned her with expensive jewelry, and pampered her with the finest food. She was His queen (Ezekiel 16:1-14).
Today we read her heartbreaking response. Confident in her beauty and secure in her position, she began misusing her husband's benefits to cheat on Him. Our reading is a list of how she did that.
- She flung herself at whoever would have her.
- She used her royal garments to decorate "high places"—shrines where she worshiped idols.
- She recast the precious metal of her jewelry into idol images.
- She used the cosmetics and food her Husband supplied as idol offerings.
- She offered the children of their union to idols.
- She wasn't a normal prostitute who took payment for her services. Instead she was so intent on getting new lovers, she paid whoever would come to her.
Yesterday we likened ourselves to Jerusalem, seeing how we are like that cast-out helpless newborn who God rescued, redeemed, and married. But we would never act like today's unfaithful wife, would we?
How close we come. For don't we:
- Misuse God's benefits to us, employing them to gratify our desires and establish our own little empires. To impress? To be entertained?
- Push our children toward the idols we serve, idols of money, fame, beauty, success, sensuous gratification, leisure, sports, etc.?
And notice how innocently it all begins: by trusting in our own abilities and achievements, and misusing our blessings ("But you trusted in your own beauty, played the harlot because of your fame…" Ezekiel 16:15) forgetting from whom they come and for what purpose they were given.
PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to recognize within myself the tendencies toward unfaithfulness to You. May it never be said of me, "You are an adulterous wife who takes strangers instead of her husband." Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.