“I do not know how to make a man think seriously about sin and judgment, and must look to the work of the Holy Spirit for any hint of such a working.”

Jim Elliot

TODAY’S READING: Ezekiel 23–24

Through Ezekiel, God compared Israel and Judah to two sisters who marry the same man. Both sisters became adulterous, and the implication was that the younger sister was even more blameworthy for she did not learn from the excesses and the judgment of her predecessor. Both sisters belonged to the Lord and both cheated on Him (Eze. 23:4). Not only did the sisters cheat on their Husband, but they were the aggressors in adulterous affairs. They were not seduced but did the seducing. As a result, the Lord alienated Himself from them (v. 18).

There was a twisted blindness to Israel and Judah’s harlotry. Because God chose them in covenant commitment, they wrongly assumed He would never alienate Himself from them. They presumed that even though they sinned, they could stay married. They presumed in some disturbing way that at least in their infidelity they were not as bad as the other nations. It became inconceivable to them that God would ever divorce them. Perverted pride led them to think they could cheat on God cavalierly because He was bound to them regardless of anything they did. It shocked them that God would end the marriage because they serially broke the covenant. Their presumption led to their destruction.

In one sense today’s Church is the chronological sibling of yesterday’s Israel. Jehovah brought us into covenant with Himself. He gave us the assignment to be a light to all the Gentiles. We are to live holy, intimate, consecrated lives with our Husband. Sadly, we have not learned the lesson of our older sister’s infidelities, and we face her fate. It is inconceivable to us that God will ever divorce us. It is unthinkable to today’s Church that God will ever break covenant with us. Perverted pride leads us away from winning the nations to Him to seducing them to ourselves. It is shocking hubris to think that God will only slap the Church on our filthy wrists and stay with us regardless of what we do because He has no other options for His glory among all peoples.

God asked Ezekiel to live out what looms over the Church (24:15–18). God told Ezekiel that he would lose his wife, the desire of his eyes, and that he could not issue one word of woe.  God used the loss of Ezekiel’s beloved to show the loss of His bride. Ronald Reagan, when asked why he left the Democratic Party to join the Republicans, answered: “I didn’t leave the Democratic party…the Democratic party left me!” And so it was with Israel and Judah—God did not divorce them, they divorced Him. They cheated on God by immorally seducing the nations to themselves rather than winning them to Jehovah through purity. We the church, as the younger sister of Israel, now follow suit. We have brought other lovers into our homes, hearts, and churches, and God will not be bound to our immorality. If the Church will not be true, God will find another way to glorify His name among the nations.

Prayer Focus: United States

Today’s Unreached People Group: Arab, Iraqi
Population: 126,000
Language: Arabic, Mesopotamia Spoken
Primary Religion: Islam
Evangelical: 0.20%
Estimated Workers Needed: 3

[Source: Joshua Project]

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