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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
(412)822-7255
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Pastor's Pen - September 6, 2007
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September 6, 2007

Ezekiel 23-24
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Ezekiel
Chapter 23
  1. The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
  2. Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother:
  3. And they committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth: there were their breasts pressed, and there they bruised the teats of their virginity.
  4. And the names of them were Aholah the elder, and Aholibah her sister: and they were mine, and they bare sons and daughters. Thus were their names; Samaria is Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah.
  5. And Aholah played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbours,
  6. Which were clothed with blue, captains and rulers, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding upon horses.
  7. 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.
  8. Neither left she her whoredoms brought from Egypt: for in her youth they lay with her, and they bruised the breasts of her virginity, and poured their whoredom upon her.
  9. Wherefore I have delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, upon whom she doted.
  10. These discovered her nakedness: they took her sons and her daughters, and slew her with the sword: and she became famous among women; for they had executed judgment upon her.
  11. And when her sister Aholibah saw this, she was more corrupt in her inordinate love than she, and in her whoredoms more than her sister in her whoredoms.
  12. She doted upon the Assyrians her neighbours, captains and rulers clothed most gorgeously, horsemen riding upon horses, all of them desirable young men.
  13. Then I saw that she was defiled, that they took both one way,
  14. And that she increased her whoredoms: for when she saw men pourtrayed upon the wall, the images of the Chaldeans pourtrayed with vermilion,
  15. Girded with girdles upon their loins, exceeding in dyed attire upon their heads, all of them princes to look to, after the manner of the Babylonians of Chaldea, the land of their nativity:
  16. And as soon as she saw them with her eyes, she doted upon them, and sent messengers unto them into Chaldea.
  17. And the Babylonians came to her 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.
  18. So she discovered her whoredoms, and discovered her nakedness: then my mind was alienated from her, like as my mind was alienated from her sister.
  19. 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.
  20. For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses.
  21. Thus thou calledst to remembrance the lewdness of thy youth, in bruising thy teats by the Egyptians for the paps of thy youth.
  22. Therefore, O Aholibah, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will raise up thy lovers against thee, from whom thy mind is alienated, and I will bring them against thee on every side;
  23. The Babylonians, and all the Chaldeans, Pekod, and Shoa, and Koa, and all the Assyrians with them: all of them desirable young men, captains and rulers, great lords and renowned, all of them riding upon horses.
  24. And they shall come against thee with chariots, wagons, and wheels, and with an assembly of people, which shall set against thee buckler and shield and helmet round about: and I will set judgment before them, and they shall judge thee according to their judgments.
  25. And I will set my jealousy against thee, and they shall deal furiously with thee: they shall take away thy nose and thine ears; and thy remnant shall fall by the sword: they shall take thy sons and thy daughters; and thy residue shall be devoured by the fire.
  26. They shall also strip thee out of thy clothes, and take away thy fair jewels.
  27. Thus will I make thy lewdness to cease from thee, and thy whoredom brought from the land of Egypt: so that thou shalt not lift up thine eyes unto them, nor remember Egypt any more.
  28. For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will deliver thee into the hand of them whom thou hatest, into the hand of them from whom thy mind is alienated:
  29. And they shall deal with thee hatefully, and shall take away all thy labour, and shall leave thee naked and bare: and the nakedness of thy whoredoms shall be discovered, both thy lewdness and thy whoredoms.
  30. I will do these things unto thee, because thou hast gone a whoring after the heathen, and because thou art polluted with their idols.
  31. Thou hast walked in the way of thy sister; therefore will I give her cup into thine hand.
  32. Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou shalt drink of thy sister's cup deep and large: thou shalt be laughed to scorn and had in derision; it containeth much.
  33. Thou shalt be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, with the cup of astonishment and desolation, with the cup of thy sister Samaria.
  34. Thou shalt even drink it and suck it out, and thou shalt break the sherds thereof, and pluck off thine own breasts: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.
  35. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast forgotten me, and cast me behind thy back, therefore bear thou also thy lewdness and thy whoredoms.
  36. The LORD said moreover unto me; Son of man, wilt thou judge Aholah and Aholibah? yea, declare unto them their abominations;
  37. That they have committed adultery, and blood is in their hands, and with their idols have they committed adultery, and have also caused their sons, whom they bare unto me, to pass for them through the fire, to devour them.
  38. Moreover this they have done unto me: they have defiled my sanctuary in the same day, and have profaned my sabbaths.
  39. For when they had slain their children to their idols, then they came the same day into my sanctuary to profane it; and, lo, thus have they done in the midst of mine house.
  40. And furthermore, that ye have sent for men to come from far, unto whom a messenger was sent; and, lo, they came: for whom thou didst wash thyself, paintedst thy eyes, and deckedst thyself with ornaments,
  41. And satest upon a stately bed, and a table prepared before it, whereupon thou hast set mine incense and mine oil.
  42. And a voice of a multitude being at ease was with her: and with the men of the common sort were brought Sabeans from the wilderness, which put bracelets upon their hands, and beautiful crowns upon their heads.
  43. Then said I unto her that was old in adulteries, Will they now commit whoredoms with her, and she with them?
  44. Yet they went in unto her, as they go in unto a woman that playeth the harlot: so went they in unto Aholah and unto Aholibah, the lewd women.
  45. And the righteous men, they shall judge them after the manner of adulteresses, and after the manner of women that shed blood; because they are adulteresses, and blood is in their hands.
  46. For thus saith the Lord GOD; I will bring up a company upon them, and will give them to be removed and spoiled.
  47. And the company shall stone them with stones, and dispatch them with their swords; they shall slay their sons and their daughters, and burn up their houses with fire.
  48. Thus will I cause lewdness to cease out of the land, that all women may be taught not to do after your lewdness.
  49. And they 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.


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Ezekiel
Chapter 24
  1. Again in the ninth year, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
  2. Son of man, write thee the name of the day, even of this same day: the king of Babylon set himself against Jerusalem this same day.
  3. And utter a parable unto the rebellious house, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Set on a pot, set it on, and also pour water into it:
  4. Gather the pieces thereof into it, even every good piece, the thigh, and the shoulder; fill it with the choice bones.
  5. Take the choice of the flock, and burn also the bones under it, and make it boil well, and let them seethe the bones of it therein.
  6. Wherefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the bloody city, to the pot whose scum is therein, and whose scum is not gone out of it! bring it out piece by piece; let no lot fall upon it.
  7. For her blood is in the midst of her; she set it upon the top of a rock; she poured it not upon the ground, to cover it with dust;
  8. That it might cause fury to come up to take vengeance; I have set her blood upon the top of a rock, that it should not be covered.
  9. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the bloody city! I will even make the pile for fire great.
  10. Heap on wood, kindle the fire, consume the flesh, and spice it well, and let the bones be burned.
  11. Then set it empty upon the coals thereof, that the brass of it may be hot, and may burn, and that the filthiness of it may be molten in it, that the scum of it may be consumed.
  12. She hath wearied herself with lies, and her great scum went not forth out of her: her scum shall be in the fire.
  13. In thy filthiness is lewdness: because I have purged thee, and thou wast not purged, thou shalt not be purged from thy filthiness any more, till I have caused my fury to rest upon thee.
  14. I the LORD have spoken it: it shall come to pass, and I will do it; I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent; according to thy ways, and according to thy doings, shall they judge thee, saith the Lord GOD.
  15. Also the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
  16. Son of man, behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke: yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down.
  17. Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire of thine head upon thee, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover not thy lips, and eat not the bread of men.
  18. So I spake unto the people in the morning: and at even my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded.
  19. And the people said unto me, Wilt thou not tell us what these things are to us, that thou doest so?
  20. Then I answered them, The word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
  21. Speak unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will profane my sanctuary, the excellency of your strength, the desire of your eyes, and that which your soul pitieth; and your sons and your daughters whom ye have left shall fall by the sword.
  22. And ye shall do as I have done: ye shall not cover your lips, nor eat the bread of men.
  23. And your tires shall be upon your heads, and your shoes upon your feet: ye shall not mourn nor weep; but ye shall pine away for your iniquities, and mourn one toward another.
  24. Thus Ezekiel is unto you a sign: according to all that he hath done shall ye do: and when this cometh, ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD.
  25. Also, thou son of man, shall it not be in the day when I take from them their strength, the joy of their glory, the desire of their eyes, and that whereupon they set their minds, their sons and their daughters,
  26. That he that escapeth in that day shall come unto thee, to cause thee to hear it with thine ears?
  27. In that day shall thy mouth be opened to him which is escaped, and thou shalt speak, and be no more dumb: and thou shalt be a sign unto them; and they shall know that I am the LORD.


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Thought for the day:
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 Ezekiel paints a picture in chapter 23 of the serious nature of Israel's offenses against the Lord. He opens by saying that there were two daughters from one mother (2). This refers to the divided nation of Israel, known as Israel and Judah. The capital of the kingdom of Israel was in Samaria, and the capital of the nation of Judah was in Jerusalem (4). Samaria established diplomatic and spiritual relationships with the Assyrians (5), and Jerusalem established them with the Babylonians (17). Because of these relationships, God chose those pagan countries to be the ones who attacked and devastated their former partners.

 What I find interesting about this passage is how Jehovah ties the Jews inappropriate relationships to the sin of adultery. Throughout this text Ezekiel uses graphic language to show how hideous the sins of the children of God were. He constantly makes reference to "whoredoms", "harlots", "nakedness", "inordinate love", "lovers", and "lewdness". There are several reasons for the use of this kind of terminology.

 First, I believe that it shows the vileness of the Jew's behavior. We see them pursuing pleasure with other nations in a most reckless and wanton fashion. They can think of nothing else but themselves and their enjoyment. They run from one sin to the next as the reprobate woman runs from one lover to the next. Any reasonably moral person would find this type of activity disgusting in a young woman, and this is how we are to view the sins of these two nations. Second, and more importantly, I believe it shows how they were cheating on Jehovah. Israel had entered into a covenant relationship with God. The Lord had completely kept His end of the deal, and had been a faithful Husband to her. In return, she played the harlot, ignoring the One Who loved her and had entered into the covenant with her and instead chasing after those who hated Him. Many of us have seen the fallout from a woman (or a man for that matter) that has abandoned her own spouse for the charms of another man. We not only find that woman to be despicable, but our hearts go out to the husband who has been left behind. We see him as he pines for her return - hoping against hope that today will be the day that she comes to her senses. We see his sorrow as he attempts to figure out what happened and to pick up the pieces of his shattered life. We watch the promiscuous woman enjoy herself, oblivious to her husband's grief, and we think to ourselves, "Someday you'll be sorry." While I do not believe that God needs to "pick up the pieces of His shattered life", I think the spiritual picture is clear: while God's people ignore Him and have their fun, He waits anxiously for their repentance and return. However, eventually His patience wears out, and judgment falls.

 The New Testament carries a similar truth in it. James writes in his book,

"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?" (4:4).
God is reminding His children once again that every time they pursue the world and its charms that they are actually playing the harlot against the Lord. No man would believe that his wife cared about him and loved him if she had a boyfriend on the side. How then can believers have the audacity to say that they love the Lord and at the same time pursue activities and goals that are in complete opposition to Him? Obviously they can not. To love the world and its system is to play spiritual adultery on the Lord, and it puts us in the exact same position where Israel and Judah found themselves in Ezekiel 23. If we find their behavior offensive, we must find our own equally so. We must repent and return quickly to the One Who purchased us with His own blood (Acts 20:28), for He awaits our return, but His longsuffering will not last forever.

Pastor Mark J Montgomery

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