The lurid allegory of Ezekiel Chapter 16 must qualify as a chapter in the Bible least likely to be read aloud in church – as just as unlikely to be preached from. It is long, it is lewd, and its language in places is frankly pornographic. (Chris Wright (BST: Ezekiel, 127))
Tell me again why we read Ezekiel 16?!!
That’s right, I remember now. Because we don’t avoid listening to what God has to say, even if it is shocking and hard to hear.
Jerusalem (the people of God) should have known better, but because of their inability to realise how desperate the situation was, God gave them an allegory – a story about a guy who saved a child who was helpless and how he showered her with gifts only to see her grow up and give the gifts away and turn her back spectacularly on him as a prostitute. God told Jerusalem a story about how they were the prostitute!
The warning for us is simple. As the people of God, we must contemplate what a great thing it is for God to give us Jesus and then ensure that we don’t sell-out to the world like Jerusalem did.
Three ways to guard ourselves in Christ:
- Never forget that all we have, we have because God has given it to us – best of all life in Christ.
- Be careful so that we never misplace God’s gifts – accept them thankfully and use them to give glory back to God.
- Guard ourselves against the world to ensure that we never make God’s gifts the reason for placing confidence in ourselves or our abilities or our circumstances.