Ezekiel 23: Israel’s Idolatry is Portrayed as Infidelity to God and Judgment is Serious

When it comes to righteous judgment, God doesn’t fool around. If you’ve ever been in a relationship and your boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife, cheated on you, you are aware of how painful that is. Well, that’s how God felt when the people of Samaria (in the Northern Kingdom of Israel) and Jerusalem, in the Southern Kingdom, broke their covenant with God and started worshiping the pagan idols of their neighboring countries. Chapter 23 is one of those rated “R” chapters so I’ll read some and paraphrase some and let you read it here on your own. Let’s dig in…

Ezekiel 23 – The Adultery of Two Sisters

This message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, once there were two sisters who were daughters of the same mother. They became prostitutes in Egypt…The older girl was named Oholah, and her sister was Oholibah. I married them, and they bore me sons and daughters. I am speaking of Samaria and Jerusalem, for Oholah is Samaria and Oholibah is Jerusalem.

“Then Oholah lusted after other lovers instead of me, and she gave her love to the Assyrian officers. They were all attractive young men, captains and commanders dressed in handsome blue, charioteers driving their horses. And so she prostituted herself with the most desirable men of Assyria, worshiping their idols and defiling herself. For when she left Egypt, she did not leave her spirit of prostitution behind…

Ezekiel 23:1-8a NLT

God uses a metaphor here as He compares Samaria and Jerusalem as two sisters who become prostitutes after He “married” them. That marriage is the covenant. It was saying that God would be their God and they would be His people. Problem was that they had wandering eyes and wanted to be like the pagan nations around them. So much so, that they forgot God.

That is so similar to what is happening in the world today. Churches started wanting to be like the world and they forgot God. So God allowed them to wander. Just like He allowed the “sisters” to go with their pagan “lovers”.

11 “Yet even though Oholibah saw what had happened to Oholah, her sister, she followed right in her footsteps. And she was even more depraved, abandoning herself to her lust and prostitution. 12 She fawned over all the Assyrian officers—those captains and commanders in handsome uniforms, those charioteers driving their horses—all of them attractive young men. 13 I saw the way she was going, defiling herself just like her older sister.

14 “Then she carried her prostitution even further. She fell in love with pictures that were painted on a wall—pictures of Babylonian military officers, outfitted in striking red uniforms.

Ezekiel 23:11-14 NLT

Samaria was the first to turn away. Unfortunately, Jerusalem witnessed what happened to her “sister” and went in the same direction.

18 “In the same way, I became disgusted with Oholibah and rejected her, just as I had rejected her sister, because she flaunted herself before them and gave herself to satisfy their lusts. 19 Yet she turned to even greater prostitution, remembering her youth when she was a prostitute in Egypt…”

Ezekiel 23:18-19 NLT

The Lord’s Judgment of Oholibah

22 “Therefore, Oholibah, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will send your lovers against you from every direction—those very nations from which you turned away in disgust. 23 For the Babylonians will come with all the Chaldeans from Pekod and Shoa and Koa. And all the Assyrians will come with them—handsome young captains, commanders, chariot officers, and other high-ranking officers, all riding their horses. 24 They will all come against you from the north with chariots, wagons, and a great army prepared for attack. They will take up positions on every side, surrounding you with men armed with shields and helmets. And I will hand you over to them for punishment so they can do with you as they please. 25 I will turn my jealous anger against you, and they will deal harshly with you. They will cut off your nose and ears, and any survivors will then be slaughtered by the sword. Your children will be taken away as captives, and everything that is left will be burned. 26 They will strip you of your beautiful clothes and jewels. 27 In this way, I will put a stop to the lewdness and prostitution you brought from Egypt. You will never again cast longing eyes on those things or fondly remember your time in Egypt.

28 “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will surely hand you over to your enemies, to those you loathe, those you rejected. 29 They will treat you with hatred and rob you of all you own, leaving you stark naked. The shame of your prostitution will be exposed to all the world. 30 You brought all this on yourself by prostituting yourself to other nations, defiling yourself with all their idols. 31 Because you have followed in your sister’s footsteps, I will force you to drink the same cup of terror she drank.

32 “Yes, this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“You will drink from your sister’s cup of terror,
    a cup that is large and deep.
It is filled to the brim
    with scorn and derision.
33 Drunkenness and anguish will fill you,
    for your cup is filled to the brim with distress and desolation,
    the same cup your sister Samaria drank.
34 You will drain that cup of terror
    to the very bottom.
Then you will smash it to pieces
    and beat your breast in anguish.
    I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!

35 “And because you have forgotten me and turned your back on me, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: You must bear the consequences of all your lewdness and prostitution.”

The Lord’s Judgment on Both Sisters

“You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea." Exodus 20:4

36 The Lord said to me, “Son of man, you must accuse Oholah and Oholibah of all their detestable sins. 37 They have committed both adultery and murder—adultery by worshiping idols and murder by burning as sacrifices the children they bore to me. 38 Furthermore, they have defiled my Temple and violated my Sabbath day! 39 On the very day that they sacrificed their children to their idols, they boldly came into my Temple to worship! They came in and defiled my house.

40 “You sisters sent messengers to distant lands to get men. Then when they arrived, you bathed yourselves, painted your eyelids, and put on your finest jewels for them. 41 You sat with them on a beautifully embroidered couch and put my incense and my special oil on a table that was spread before you…

45 But righteous people will judge these sister cities for what they really are—adulterers and murderers.

46 “Now this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Bring an army against them and hand them over to be terrorized and plundered. 47 For their enemies will stone them and kill them with swords. They will butcher their sons and daughters and burn their homes. 48 In this way, I will put an end to lewdness and idolatry in the land, and my judgment will be a warning to all women not to follow your wicked example. 49 You will be fully repaid for all your prostitution—your worship of idols. Yes, you will suffer the full penalty. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.”

Ezekiel 23:22-48 NLT
Lots of statues of Mary - useless man-made idols.
Useless man-made idols.

In the end, the two sisters learned the hard way not to turn from the One True God and worship false, useless, man-made idols. Interestingly enough, when Israel came back from the Babylonian exile, they never returned to pagan worship.

Today’s Paganism

When I saw this article today, I was floored. I’m going to read some of it. It’s from Bible Prophecy Tracker.

The Satanic Temple to Host Satanic Convention in Scottsdale, AZ

PR News Wire: The Satanic Temple (“TST”) has announced it will be hosting “SatanCon” February 11-13, 2022. This will be TST’s first religious convention. The three-day event will take place in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The Satanic Temple recently sued Scottsdale, AZ, for refusing to allow the organization the opportunity to deliver an invocation before its city council meetings. Even though the city had never rejected anyone else’s request, and both Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane and Councilwoman Suzanne Klapp publicly celebrated their efforts to prevent TST from delivering an invocation, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the city did not engage in unlawful discrimination.

Lucien Greaves, co-founder and spokesperson for The Satanic Temple, said, “In addition to creating a community for our members, SatanCon serves as an expression of our good will toward the city of Scottsdale, despite the perplexing and unfortunate ruling against us which defied precedent and common sense. In the course of litigation, Scottsdale officials desperately made clear that they are, in fact, accepting and inclusive regarding Satanists. We heard you, Scottsdale, and we accepted that as an invitation to turn Scottsdale into the Happy Satanic Fun Capital of the World.”

SatanCon will include talks and presentations that discuss the various campaigns championed by The Satanic Temple. These include efforts to protect members’ reproductive rights, fight psychiatric abuse, protect children from abuse in schools, promote addiction recovery, and build support for TST’s after-school club. There will be vendors and entertainment as well, including a keynote presentation by Lucien Greaves. Read More …

“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” Charles Baudelaire...

…“We are dedicating SatanCon to the Scottsdale City Council. Their bitter remorse at having erroneously excluded us from giving an invocation — in what they described as a bit of administrative confusion — must have been weighing on them for some time, if their testimony is to be believed. Now hundreds of Satanists will descend upon Scottsdale to let these selfless public servants know, Hey, it’s okay. We understand, and we’re here to make things right. Far from being disgruntled and put off, we’re going to bring Satan to Scottsdale. We’re bringing the party to you, Scottsdale, and it’s going to be an event to remember,” Greaves said.”

This is happening not 15 miles from where I live. One thing’s for sure, I’m going to be praying for these people and the City of Scottsdale this weekend. It would be great if a slew of Christians would encircle that event and pray for them.

Catholicism is Pagan Worship

Even though a Roman Catholic Church Mass is prettier and full of beautiful rites, set in a building full of works of art, it’s still idolatry. Venerating anyone or anything above Jesus Christ is idolatry. Plain and simple. Furthermore, God hates idolatry!

God’s Judgment is Coming!

Like those who lived in Samaria and Jerusalem, there will be no escaping God’s Righteous Judgment. It’s called “righteous” because He is Holy and we are supposed to be Holy, too. What’s more, God wants our obedience and our loyalty. Where is YOUR loyalty?

22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.

Romans 3:22-24 NLT

Isn’t it time you got right with God?

It’s really rather simple… You must…

Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.

  • Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
  • Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180-degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him. When you ask Jesus to forgive you He will. ALL your sins will be wiped clean — past, present, and future! And All means ALL!
  • Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
  • Receive the gift of Holy Spirit in your heart.

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift of Grace, Joy, Peace, and the Confident Hope of Eternal Life…

The POPE doesn’t think the BIBLE got it right with SALVATION!!!

Dig Deeper…

Left Behind After the Rapture Series

Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!

Top image by Moody Publishers from FreeBibleImages.org

2 thoughts on “Ezekiel 23: Israel’s Idolatry is Portrayed as Infidelity to God and Judgment is Serious”

  1. Pingback: Ezekiel 43: The Glory of God Returns to the Temple Forever! – Seek the Truth

  2. Pingback: Mark 2:18-28: The Pharisees had a Meltdown when Jesus Turned their World Upside Down – Seek the Truth

Leave a Comment