Today’s Reading: Ezek 16:1–63, Rev 6:1–7:8, Job 34:1–15
Today’s Theme: Brazen Whores, Redeemed
With today’s theme, we look at the vivid picture that God paints of Israel as an unfaithful wife, who has become a brazen whore, and we see a parallel application for our lives personally and collectively, as the Bride of Christ.
We did not become the Bride of Christ because we were the most beautiful or faithful, we were in sin and darkness, the same as the lowest whore. Yet God in His grace and love, redeemed us and faithfully works with us through the power of the Gospel and His Holy Spirit, to bring reform and transformation to our lives.
It is amazing the way God’s grace has taken the lowest people like us, with lives disfigured and marked by the fall and sin, and makes us royalty, a bride without spot or blemish.
The hated, redeemed
“And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’(Ezekiel 16:6, ESV)
God caused hated Israel to live, God does the same for us in salvation.
The covenant of love
“When I passed by you again and saw you, behold, you were at the age for love, and I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness; I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord God, and you became mine.(Ezekiel 16:8, ESV)
Another beautiful picture of God’s love and commitment to His people. We belong to Him like a wife does to her husband.
Don’t be a whore
“But you trusted in your beauty and played the whore because of your renown and lavished your whorings on any passerby; your beauty became his.(Ezekiel 16:15, ESV)
The treachery of the human heart, God has made us beautiful and gifted us, we must not whore ourselves out spiritually. We must faithfully serve the Lord.
The curse of faithlessness
You also played the whore with the Egyptians, your lustful neighbours, multiplying your whoring, to provoke me to anger.(Ezekiel 16:26, ESV)
God sees our faithlessness as a wife who was picked up off the scrap heap and made royalty by a loving husband, but then becomes the lowest of whores.
Brazen whore vs faithful wife
“How sick is your heart, declares the Lord God, because you did all these things, the deeds of a brazen prostitute,(Ezekiel 16:30, ESV)
We are like a brazen prostitute when we give way to compromise and temptation. Lord, help us to be like the image of a faithful wife (Saint), to a loving husband (God).
The price of sin
So you were different from other women in your whorings. No one solicited you to play the whore, and you gave payment, while no payment was given to you; therefore you were different.(Ezekiel 16:34, ESV)
We pay sin, sin pays us nothing but death in our spiritual adultery.
Judged through sin
therefore, behold, I will gather all your lovers with whom you took pleasure, all those you loved and all those you hated. I will gather them against you from every side and will uncover your nakedness to them, that they may see all your nakedness.(Ezekiel 16:37, ESV)
The very things we compromise with, sin with and idolise in faithlessness, become the very tools of our judgement and destruction.
Stop playing the whore
And they shall burn your houses and execute judgments upon you in the sight of many women. I will make you stop playing the whore, and you shall also give payment no more.(Ezekiel 16:41, ESV)
God’s purpose in Judgement.
Not only did you walk in their ways and do according to their abominations; within a very little time you were more corrupt than they in all your ways.(Ezekiel 16:47, ESV)
A Christian in compromise and sin will become worse than those in the world. This also gives an indication to how badly Israel had fallen in sin.
God’s love and grace
yet I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish for you an everlasting covenant.(Ezekiel 16:60, ESV)
Without God’s love and grace, Israel and the church would be lost.
God has atoned
that you may remember and be confounded, and never open your mouth again because of your shame, when I atone for you for all that you have done, declares the Lord God.”(Ezekiel 16:63, ESV)
Jesus did this for us.
Judgement on man’s spiritual whoredom
And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.(Revelation 6:8, ESV)
Only because of today’s earlier reading in Ezekiel, do these four types of judgement start to make sense.
Lord avenge us
They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”(Revelation 6:10, ESV)
This is a really different way to pray for the suffering church. Like the psalms, we can seek God to avenge us.
and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale.(Revelation 6:13, ESV)
This does not mean a galactic star, the word can mean any glorious heavenly being, like an asteroid.
*a luminous body (other than the sun) visible in the sky, star, single star, planet
(Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.)
The angry Lamb
calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb,(Revelation 6:16, ESV)
Vivid imagery as lambs do not make you think of anger, this displays both sides of God’s nature.
And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:(Revelation 7:4, ESV)
These are real Israelites, not selected Russellites (Jehovah Witnesses were originally called Russellites, after their founder and false prophet Charles Taze Russell).
Test words, listen carefully
for the ear tests words as the palate tastes food.(Job 34:3, ESV)
Lord, please help our ears to test words well.
You reap what you sow
For according to the work of a man he will repay him, and according to his ways he will make it befall him.(Job 34:11, ESV)
This is true, we do reap what we sow, but Grace also has an effect on all of this too.
If he should set his heart to it and gather to himself his spirit and his breath,(Job 34:14, ESV)
All life is dependent on God.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Revelation 6