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Week 2 August 2023, Devotion Part 2

And when I passed by you, and saw you weltering in your blood, I said to you in your blood, “Live….” Ezekiel 16:6

The cross-reference is Ezekiel 16:4-5, God’s prophecy against Jerusalem: “… on the day you were born your navel string was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you…nor swathed with bands. No eye pitied you…but you were cast out…abhorred….” The prophet grimly drags us to the “crime scene” where the dumped newborn is left to welter in her blood. Do not look for the crime specialists. Israel’s Covenant God is amply present. He cuts and ties the baby’s cord and says, “Live!”

Ezekiel 16 is the ultimate cure – or lure – for “navel-gazing.” The girl child lives, grows up to be a beauty and marries into royalty for love. She sleeps around, embraces idol worship and resorts to child sacrifice – “slaughtering” God’s own sons and daughters. “And in all your abominations and your harlotries you did not remember the days…when you were naked and bare, weltering in your blood.” Who can live with such a crime? Could it be that God had never cut the bloodied umbilical cord of His Covenant mercy? (Part 2 o 2)

Comment: Speaking of crime drama, I occasionally still watch Hawaii Five-O, but have said aloha to some old favorites increasingly racy with “sensual songs” and “lustful desires.” Mind you, God set that tone in Ezekiel 33:32. It confirmed to His longsuffering prophet that the hypocrites listening to his preaching were laughing him off as one who played well on an instrument - but left them blissfully tone-deaf. If you want to tune out “bawdy,” stay away from chapter 23. The sexcapades of two sisters are so graphically described that ”they would make a sailor blush.” These sordid siblings are also ruthless schemers, using sexual favors to secure political power. Their names are revealed as Samaria and Jerusalem, the capitals of Israel and Judah. Should the offspring of their spiritual adultery be shown vital mercy? Perhaps you remember the man not too long ago who campaigned for political office, touting his moral values. A son denounced him for having ruined his family, and two girl friends exposed him for having paid for their abortions. That hush money didn’t buy the candidate the public trust he craved. King David came clean about his affair with Bathsheba and her baby died. She became his wife and Solomon was born to them, ushering in Israel’s golden age.

Ezekiel is addressed by God as “son of man” 93 times. He sent His only Son to die the substitutionary death that your sin and mine demanded. Jesus referred to Himself as “son of man” over 80 times. If we read the Book of Ezekiel through Christ’s eyes, the enormity of sin fades away in view of the immensity of His sacrifice. Ezekiel 16


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