Ezekiel 23: Does This Look Familiar?
Ezekiel was a messenger to many different people for many different reasons, but much of what he ended up speaking against was the problem of idolatry. In Ezekiel 23, he was called to speak to both the people of Israel and the people of Judah. The people of Israel had wandered away from God earlier after the split of the kingdom, but Judah had remained more faithful. However, we had now come to a point in history where Judah had also fallen.
Eze 23:22 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;
Eze 23:23 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.
Eze 23:24 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.
Eze 23:25 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.
I think that there is a powerful lesson here for us. The nation of Judah had indeed been blessed by God. However, even with all of the evidence leading them to believe that it was worthwhile to follow God, they still wandered away.
Here is a little thought experiment. As we know, Zedekiah was the King of Judah when the Babylonians came. There were 19 kings by my count between the reign of David and the reign of Zedekiah.
We know that David died approximately in 970 BC and Jerusalem fell in approximately 586 BC. That is 384 years of spiraling downhill. While there certainly were some improvements along the way, the trajectory was generally downhill until it hit rock bottom.
It is a shame though. You think about a nation that was on top of the world. David was a man after God’s own heart, and although he certainly had many, many flaws, he led Israel in the ways of God. They were a nation that valued and worshipped God. They then became a nation that was about to be judged by God for falling away to idols.
It kind of makes you think of another nation that was founded in Biblical principles but continually slid away for approximately 400 years. We need revival.