Ezekiel 16:1-30, Sin Is A Deep Betrayal Against God
1. God Loved You And Gave You Life (v1-7)
2. Every Blessing You Have Is From God (v8-14)
3. You Misuse God’s Blessings When You Sin (v15-22)
4. You Cannot Satisfy Yourself With Sin (v23-30)
Ezekiel 16:1-30, Sin Is A Deep Betrayal Against God
Ezekiel 16:1-30, Sin Is A Deep Betrayal Against God
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As we look at Ezekiel Chapter 16 tonight, the Lord is calling Ezekiel to bring the people of God face to face with something that's a little bit hard and uncomfortable to be face to face with.
He says in verse two, son of man caused Jerusalem to know her abominations.
And the purpose of this chapter, the purpose of the prophecy that God gives to Ezekiel here.
Is to help the people, like look directly in the mirror and see the abominations, to see the issues that are going on, the issues that God wants to highlight for us.
And so I've titled the message this evening as we look at Ezekiel 16 Sin is a deep betrayal.
Thin is a deep betrayal against.
God and the Prophet Ezekiel, as you probably can tell over the past a couple weeks of reading through this book, he he is really being used by the Lord to deal with the issue of sin and to help people understand the reality and the terribleness that sin.
We saw the Lord kind of compare it as poop.
That was the the kind of impact that it had and the kind of weight that it carries, the kind of response and reaction that's in GTS.
And yet we offer it to the Lord and we think we're OK when we've got poop smeared all over us.
Well, here again in chapter 16.
The Lord is using Ezekiel to bring us face to face, and it's one of those things as we work our.
Way through the Old Testament.
We find ourselves in different seasons of the Lord ministering to the people of Israel, and the Lord also uses those seasons as we work our way through the whole body.
Evil to remind us of some very important things and to help us not forget and be established in the truth that is there.
That sometimes we tend to water down or we kind of lose sight of.
We get kind of forgetful in those things that the Lord has taught us.
And this morning I would encourage you to.
Just allow yourself to be a little bit.
Raw and vulnerable before the Lord and and that you would allow the Lord to show you your abominations should he choose to do so, that there are times that we need to be brought into awareness of how bad sin really is.
It's a deep betrayal.
Now to make this point, to show these abominations, God is going to use an illustration here.
He's going to tell the story of a baby that is cast out, that grows up to be a beautiful woman.
And it really turns against the Lord, who loved her so dearly.
And so there's some really powerful pictures in here, some really deep truths, and also some really challenging things to read and study.
I appreciated what Charles Spurgeon had to say about this, he says.
A very extraordinary chapter, the 16th.
Of Ezekiel, a minister could scarcely read.
It in public.
He certainly would not like to explain its metaphors to a general audience, and so tonight we're going to read it in public and explain the metaphors to a general audience.
But it is a bit of a challenge and actually I'm not going to get into a lot of the depth that we could get into in this chapter.
I'll save that for you if you want to dig into it.
But, but there is some, some very clear and powerful pictures and some things that we would find shocking for the Lord to say in the imagery and in some of the words that the Lord uses here as he talks to his people.
This allegory, this picture has many different layers.
Here's we start out looking at a baby girl that is just cast out into the field and God sees her and he clothes her and takes care of her.
She grows up and he marries her.
She becomes a beautiful queen, but then she goes into the worst kind of prostitution.
That is possible.
She goes into this gross immorality.
And so we see this whole progress here that takes place, and this story, this is a picture, an allegory, that the Lord is giving through the prophet Ezekiel to address the people of Israel.
And you can look at it in a couple of ways.
Like I said, it's several different layers.
He's addressing the city of Jerusalem directly here.
And so you can look at this and kind of interpret the allegory strictly against the City of Jerusalem and the history of the city itself, which at this time.
As as equal as prophesying these things is under siege, are about to be under siege by Nebuchadnezzar for the last time, and about to be destroyed because of, well, the abominations that are pictured here in chapter.
16 But you can also look at this chapter and understand that it extends beyond just the city itself to the nation of Israel as a whole and and and in a sense that the Lord is retelling the history of the Nation of Israel from Abraham all the way to the present time, as he is giving this allegory.
And so you can look at the City of Jerusalem itself, you can look at the nation and its whole history as a whole.
And then of course, as we look at these things this evening, we can see so many elements.
Of the work that Christ has done for us.
And so in some components we should see every Christian really in the the first part of the chapter, the the work that God has done for us.
But we also continue on to see that what it looks like and that allegory applied to a Christian in rebellion.
And backsliding as we get into the the change that takes place and the work that God is calling them out of by bringing them face to face.
With these abominations, Pastor Thomas Constable says this chapter is by far the longest prophetic message in the.
Book of Ezekiel.
The longest single Oracle in the Old Testament and the longest single allegory in the entire Bible.
And so this chapter is unique and it stands.
Out the Lord went to great lengths to help us.
See things face to face.
To sit and to deal with things that are on our hearts.
To see the abominations and the damage that sin causes and how deep of a betrayal it is against God.
And so he made it the longest chapter in the book of Ezekiel.
He made it the longest.
The longest single continuing prophecy in the Old Testament and the longest visual allegory of the entire Bible.
All packed into chapter 16.
Here to get our attention to hold us there to help us see.
Things really looking in the mirror face to face and understanding that sin is a deep betrayal against God as we look at the example of Israel here.
I think there's that old saying that really resonates throughout it, and that is except for the grace of God, there go I and that is something that we need to hold onto and embrace as we walk through this passage together.
And so we're going to dive into this in four points, working our way through verses one through.
30 here in Ezekiel Chapter 16 starting out in verses one through 7 for.
And that is that God loves you and gave you.
Life the first thing that we see here is the love express, the life that is given.
I'm going to go ahead and read verses one through 7 here to give us this whole picture at once.
It says in verse one.
Again the word of the Lord came to me saying son of man caused Jerusalem to know her abominations and say.
Thus says the Lord God to Jerusalem.
Your birth and your nativity are from the land of Canaan.
Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite.
As for your nativity, on the day you were born, your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed in water to cleanse you. You were not rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloth's.
I pitied you to do any of these things for you to have compassion on you, but you were thrown out into the open field.
When you yourself were loathed on the day you were born, verse 6.
And when I passed by you and saw you struggling in your own blood, I said to you in your blood live.
Yes, I said to you in your blood, live.
I made you thrive like a plant in the field and you grew, matured and became very beautiful.
Your breasts were formed, your hair grew.
But you were naked and bare.
Here, as God begins to lay out this allegory to tell the story of the City of Jerusalem, of the Nation of Israel, and really of everyone who believes in Jesus Christ, he compares it to he gives this picture of a child.
On the day that it is born.
And he says in this day of your Nativity, you were neglected.
In this day of your Nativity, the day of your birth, your navel cord was not cut.
You know, that's a common thing.
That's the normal thing.
That's one of the first things that happens, right?
You cut the cord.
But for this child in this picture, the navel cord was not cut.
And he says you were you were not washed.
In water to cleanse you.
And so a baby comes out and there's all these fluids and gunks.
Normally there's a cleansing, there's a washing that takes place.
But in this picture, God says nobody was there to wash the baby.
The umbilical cord was not cut.
The baby was not washed.
Nor rubbed insult.
Now, I don't know that they do that still today, but that was a way to deal with and keep away infections.
To rub insult.
And you were not wrapped in swaddling cloth's.
And so this is the worst picture of a baby that you could imagine.
Left essentially to die, not taken care of, not even the little tiniest bit, the cords not cut.
No washing, no cleansing, no clothing.
And nobody cared.
And verse five he says no, I pitied you.
Now to understand like what?
Goes on in someone who does not have pity for a baby in a situation like that, like it's probably hard for all of us to imagine.
And yet, of course, it goes on.
But here the Lord is reminding Israel, reminding Jerusalem, reminding us.
In this picture of our condition.
And that nobody.
Cared we were in this desperate place.
No, I pitied you.
No, I had compassion on you.
You were thrown out into the open field.
When you yourself were lewded on the day.
You were born.
What a dramatic and powerful picture of.
Rejection of desperation, of just complete hopelessness.
Commentator Landon Dowden says for God to paint a bleaker picture of Israel beginnings would be difficult to imagine.
He is intentionally stressing.
No one wanted you.
No one wanted you.
If you take this and apply it to the City of Jerusalem itself.
You know, we think of Jerusalem after having the history of being the place where God worked so powerfully with his people.
And so we could imagine the City of Jerusalem in its beginnings in a way that's not accurate.
The Lord here is painting the picture.
The City of Jerusalem is not anything special.
At the beginning, it wasn't something that nations fought over.
It was something nobody cared about.
It was land that nobody wanted, nobody cared.
If people moved in and and established a city there it was.
It was not something valuable.
Important as you look at the nation of Israel, nobody cared about Abraham and his family.
You know, there was no big deal.
It wasn't like Abraham when he was just walking around.
Everybody around him in Earth recognized, like, whoa, there's something really special happening.
I feel an amazing presence.
Oh, there's Abraham.
You know, that must be what I'm feeling.
There there was nothing like that.
God is looking at these beginning days and he's realizing, or not realizing, but helping us to realize the reality there is.
No one wanted you.
You were hopeless and in this bleak situation.
You were as good as dead.
But then in verse 6 God says, when I pass by you and saw you struggling in your own blood, I said to you in.
Your blood live.
Yes, I said to you in your blood live.
God said nobody cared about you.
But I cared about you.
And I saw you, and I had pity on you.
And I have compassion for you.
And I saw the desperate situation you went, you were in and there in your blood.
And the blood from the birth and the blood from the the blood you were about to shed in your death, I saw you there in your blood, and I said, no, don't die.
And God entered the scene and dramatically changed everything, he says in verse seven.
I made you thrive like a plant in the field.
I planted you, I developed you.
I gave you everything that you needed to become mature, to be fully formed, to grow up, and you became very beautiful.
Now why did God do this?
Think about the city of Jerusalem and God foretold for.
Many years in advance, there's going to be this place where I will set my name, he told the Children of Israel.
Find that place.
Set the Tabernacle there.
I'm going to meet with you there.
Inside the nation of Israel, there's going to be a special place where I will put my name.
Why did God choose Mount Zion?
Why did he choose the City of Jerusalem?
Why did God choose the Nation of Israel?
Why did he choose Abraham out of all the inhabitants of the world?
A great man of faith as we see in the scriptures, but also we understand from Joshua Chapter 24 that Abraham before God.
Appeared to him and started working in his life.
He was a worshipper of idols, just like.
His father and all.
Of the society around them.
What was so special about Abraham?
Why did God choose Abraham and develop the nation of Israel from him?
Why did God choose the City of Jerusalem and develop the nation around that?
Why did God do this?
The Lord explains it a little bit in Deuteronomy Chapter 7.
Here Moses tells the people, the Lord did not set his love on you, nor choose you, because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples.
But because the Lord loves you.
And because he would keep the oath which he swore to your father's.
The Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the House of *******, from the hand of Pharaoh, King of Egypt.
Why did the Lord set his love on Israel and on Jerusalem?
He explains the Lord did not set his love on you for any characteristic in you.
The Lord set his love on you, verse eight of Deuteronomy 7, because the Lord loves you.
Lord said his love on you, because the Lord loves you.
Like there's no room for some other maneuvering on our part.
This is true of us.
The Lord set his love on you because the Lord loves you.
And because he would keep the oath.
We would like it to read.
The Lord set his love on you because you would keep the earth, and we would love for that to be true.
If I could keep my promises to God, that would be amazing.
But I can't keep my promises to God.
And so it's a good thing that the love of the Lord is not dependent upon me keeping my promises and my oaths to the Lord.
No, the Lord set his love on you because the Lord loves you, and because he would keep the oath and he would keep the promise.
Would do the work.
The point is.
God chose to love Israel.
God chose to make Jerusalem the place where he would set his name.
And God chose you and I, not because of any special features or characteristics or, you know, talents or anything like that that we had, but because God is love and God does.
Love you and because he will keep his promises.
He loved you and gave you life.
God loves you, and he is the one who has given you life.
When nobody else cared, when nobody else had any concern or care for what happened to you or Israel or the city of Jerusalem, God chose to care.
He chose to place his love upon his people while moving.
On verses 8 through 14 we get point #2 and that is every blessing you have is from.
And so God continues to build the case.
He's starting out, reminding them of the beginning and explaining how he was involved from the very beginning, and he's the only one who had anything to say or could do anything about their situation or cared enough to do anything about their situation.
And now he goes on to describe.
The blessings and the work that he has done in their lives and in.
Their history and verse.
When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love.
So I spread my wing over you and covered your nakedness.
Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became mine, says the Lord.
And so the picture here of this baby cast out is that God is taking care of the baby provided.
Everything that the baby needed and then the baby has grown.
And so there's time that has passed and in the duration of time that the baby has grown and developed and now the baby is mature.
And so she's a young woman, and it's now the the time where it would be typical and customary for the woman to be married.
And so God said.
So I made a covenant with you.
And so again, looking at the City of Jerusalem, you can draw some parallels.
Looking at the nation of Israel, you could see this and understand God.
Pulling the children of Israel out of Egypt and making the covenant with them in the wilderness is most likely what is being pictured here, and so that covenant relationship.
Where God says you are my wife Israel, I have married you.
We have bound ourselves to each other.
In that time, in that appropriate time, and so.
The nation developed from Abraham having Isaac and Isaac, having Jacob and Jacob having the 12 sons, and then being in captivity inside captivity in Egypt.
The the family developed into a nation and so there was a maturity that happened there in that kind of incubation.
Period in Egypt.
And so now being brought out, it's the time for the covenant to be made.
And God makes this covenant with Israel.
Israel makes this covenant with God.
And they are married in that sense.
In that commitment to.
Commentator Landon Dowden again says God made a covenant with Israel and then displayed unrestrained and extravagant love.
He does not live on a budget.
His love knows no bounds.
These next few verses describe God just lavishing love and blessings upon his bride, the Nation of Israel.
Then I washed you in water.
Yes, I thoroughly washed off your blood, and I anointed you with oil.
I clothed you an embroidered cloth and gave you sandals of badger skin.
I closed you with fine linen and covered you with silk.
I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your wrists and a chain on your neck, and I put a jewel in your nose.
Earrings in your ears.
And a beautiful crown on your head.
And so in this picture of the wedding and the covenant that God makes with Israel, then they they move into that married relationship and God is just blessing his bride with ornaments and jewelry and clothing, everything that's necessary, but then above and beyond everything that is.
Decorative and the beautiful crown on the head kind of caps it all off like there is just this pouring out of blessings upon his people that God is picturing here in this.
Allegory in this picture of this woman who has now become a woman and now been married and now being loved and being spoiled in a in a good way, right and and just being filled with abundance of blessings upon blessings.
Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen, silk and embroidered cloth.
You ate pastry of fine flour, honey and oil.
You were exceedingly beautiful and succeeded to royalty.
And so here, kind of jumping to the the pinnacle of Israel history, there there is Israel adorned with gold and silver.
As you read that, perhaps you kind of reflect back in the books of Kings and Chronicles, recording the Kingdom of David, the Kingdom of Solomon.
Where Israel was transformed and no longer a nation of sticks and stones for weapons and, you know, just barely surviving in the midst of the enemies around it.
But but the nation developed and and became decorated and and there was gold and silver.
Plentifully in the land of Israel.
There was a great wealth and abundance that Israel experienced there under the leadership of David and Solomon.
Their clothing was fine linen and silk and embroidered cloth.
And you read about all of the trading that Solomon did and the luxurious clothing and and different articles that were brought in.
The pastries, you know their their food was elevated as well.
They they had fine dining now that they never had before.
There was fine flour and.
Honey and oil.
And there is exceeding beauty.
Remember the Queen of Sheba?
Came in just.
To take in, to be in awe.
Of all that had been done, and all that Jerusalem was in Israel, was under the wisdom of King Solomon, verse 14 says, your fame went out among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through my splendor, which I had bestowed on you, says the Lord God.
First Kings chapter 10 but cords that coming of the Queen of Sheba to Israel and and saying.
I didn't believe what people told me.
About this place and about you, King Solomon.
But now that I'm here, I realize they didn't even tell me half.
Of what was really going.
On the fame, the beauty.
Were so abundant.
She stood in awe.
And Israel experienced this incredible outpouring of blessings from God.
Crazy transformation. Unbelievable transformation.
To the Queen of Sheba, and to the whole.
World around them.
The hand of God, the work of God provided for them, Pastor Thomas Constable says the Lord enabled Jerusalem to thrive.
Her inhabitants became numerous.
She eventually developed into a fine city, even though she had gotten a bad start in life.
During the reigns of David and Solomon, Jerusalem.
Was one of.
The most highly respected cities in the ancient Near East.
The whole known world at that time knew Israel, heard about Israel, talked about Israel.
As they opened up their daily papers or check their daily Instagram feeds, you know Jerusalem was in the mix.
It was always wow.
Some glorious picture of the temple, or some glorious picture of the throne of Solomon, or some glorious picture of a sunset over Jerusalem walls like it was just a a feed that everybody knew, everybody heard about.
Abundant and apparent to the whole world that God had done something special, their injuries.
Some God had done something special with Israel.
And as we continue to consider this allegory and paint this picture on ourselves as well, we we must recognize that every blessing that we have is from God.
As James says, every good and perfect gift is from God.
That God takes our life and and although we, you know, start out in that desperate situation.
That God pours into our lives so much blessing and goodness and and and the stability that we have now.
Is an amazing work of God.
Amazing blessings of God, and you can apply this spiritually as well as physically and financially and mentally and emotionally.
Every blessing that we have is from God and is the testimony of God's incredible work and demonstration of love.
In our lives.
Pastor David Guzik says it is staggering to think and to believe that we have even more in Jesus Christ than Israel had when they were blessed under the old covenant. Every aspect of God's blessing to Israel under the old covenant washing, anointing, clothing, providing, adorning, crowning.
Is given in greater measure and glory in the new covenant, what we have in Christ.
Is even more significant and more abundant and more beautiful than the description that God is giving here.
And so, as Pastor David Guzik says, it's staggering to think about this.
Do you ever?
Kind of spend some.
Time wondering where where would I be?
Without God's work in my life.
I don't like to go down that path too long because it's not a really great path to go down.
It's it's not filled with the.
I mean, you go from the abandoned baby in the field and there's not a long path after that right there there.
There's just not any kind of good that's going to come through that and and I think every one of us if we were to kind of go back.
And tell our story if we were to go back and to think about what would happen if we.
Had not encountered the Lord when we did.
And and perhaps it's, you know that one time those one, that one segment of BC days that you had or maybe it's several points in your history where you can kind of look back and go, yeah, I, I encountered Christ and he did a work and then there was this other portion of my life.
I'm speaking for myself now, you know.
Well, I decided to.
Just try to live without Christ and and.
And you know, I go back to that time often in my mind and and I think if God hadn't pulled me out of that, where would I be today?
And I would have been.
Like an abandoned baby in the field.
It's good to go back and remember.
It's good to go back and reflect on how much God has done and continues to do for us.
The abundance of blessings that he provides.
Every blessing that I have, anything good in my life.
I cannot take any credit for it, not even a little bit.
Anything good in my life?
When I go back and reflect, when I, when I think about where I would be and kind of, you know, cast the, the trajectory of where I was going apart from Christ, like there's no good conclusion to that story and nothing good in my life is because of what I have done.
That I have is from God.
He's the one who loved me.
He's the one who gave me life.
And he is the one who is poured out blessing upon blessing upon blessing for me.
And even when there's challenging days and hardships in my life, I can still recognize all of the good things are blessings.
And even those challenges are God blessings to come that that they are working out.
Blessings for good and for his purposes in my life.
But now we reached the point where God changes the picture dramatically.
Now as he has built up this picture and we get this incredible rags to riches story of glory as this little baby is now blessed and elevated and just famous for God's work in her life now.
As he continues to tell the history of the nation of Israel and to tell the city the history of the city of Jerusalem.
And perhaps to tell the story of a believer in Jesus.
Who has turned away from him? It goes on in verses 15 through 22. We get point #3. You misuse God blessings when you said.
So hold onto all of those blessings, that whole picture of glory and good that God did, and then understand all of those blessings that God provided.
You say thank you, and then you put those to work.
In pursuit of sin, you use the very things that God gave you, the blessings that God poured out upon you, to rebel against him, verse 15 says.
But you trusted in your own beauty.
Played the harlot because of your fame and poured out your harlotry on everyone passing by who would have it.
Again if you.
Walk through if you live in this picture.
For a moment.
Here is this woman who has been loved and blessed and elevated, and given beauty and position and stature.
And then she has turned away from her husband.
And poured out harlotry.
On everyone passing by, by everyone who would have it, offering herself to anyone.
Who would want to participate?
It's a very vivid picture.
It's a an about face, a quick turn.
Where she takes all that.
The Lord had done in her life and then uses that to pursue.
A direct attack against God.
A direct betrayal of God.
A deep betrayal of God.
And the Lord gives us the source here you trusted.
In your own beauty.
You were so settled in the blessings that God had given to you.
That you lost sight of the Lord.
You lost sight of what God had done.
And you decided that you could live life on your own.
You trust it in yourself, in your own beauty.
You took some of your garments and adorned multi colored high places for yourself and played the harlot on them.
Such things should not happen, nor be.
You took some of your garments.
Would you get the garments?
God gave you the garments.
And you adorned high places.
And so here it's the the picture of establishing this place of idolatry, the place of worshipping other gods.
And so you played the harlot, Speaking of spiritual harlotry in the practice of idolatry, worshipping things that are not God, pursuing things, and devoting self to things that are not of God or from God.
Such things should not happen.
Now, this picture of idolatry being painted as harlotry is not just a picture in the allegory.
It was also actual harlotry that was going on and sexual immorality that was taking place in the worship of these false gods.
And so it's an apt picture and apt visual.
To describe where the nation of Israel was at.
At that time.
Taking the garments.
The position, the beauty, the work that.
God had done.
And using those very things to turn away from God, Pastor Charles Spurgeon says it is an ill sign in any of us when God blessings are themselves made into idols.
If thou begin is to worship thy wealth by health, thy children by learning, or anything that God has given the.
This is exceedingly provoking to the most high.
It is a breach of the marriage covenant between thy soul and God.
There is the opportunity and the possibility.
For us to enjoy the blessings of God to such a degree.
That we begin to worship those blessings.
We worship the work that he has done.
In our life.
And we hold those as a higher priority.
Then we hold our relationship with the Lord.
So here in this allegory, the the woman.
Trusts in her beauty.
And she settled in that.
And so she engages in this harlotry, thinking that she's safe and secure, that that she has her beauty.
And So what could go wrong?
She can go and enjoy herself.
She can go and explore these things.
But she took the the police that God had.
Brought her to.
And need that.
Going on in verse 17.
You've taken your beautiful jewelry from my gold and my silver, which I had given you and made for yourself male images and played the harlot with them.
You took your embroidered garments and covered them, and you set my oil and my incense before them.
Also my food which I gave you the pastry of fine flour, oil and honey which I fed you.
You set it before them, the idols as sweet incense.
And so it was, says the Lord God.
Notice how God is pointing out.
You've taken your beautiful jewelry.
Where did you get this beautiful jewelry?
God says I gave you gold and silver.
You you've taken the very things that I've given to you, and you have used that.
To run away from me and to rebel against me.
You've played the harlot with these things that you have made from the very blessings that I have provided for you, your embroidered garments.
I provided those to you.
I covered you in them and and you took those things that I gave you and you set them on these idols that you had created.
And the oil and the incense that I provided for you to bless you.
You're giving them over to these idols and worshipping these false gods and all this fine dining and delicious food that I provided for you.
You've delivered those things over to this idolatry as well, and then it gets worse in verse 20 and 21, he says. Moreover, you took your sons and your daughters, whom you board to me.
And these you sacrificed to them to be devoured.
Were your acts of harlotry a small matter that you have slain my children and offered them up up to them by causing them to pass through the fire?
Here God is making reference to the worship of the God molech and there was some worship of Baal that included this too where there would be this child sacrifice.
And they would literally put children in the fire.
In the worship of these false gods.
And what an insane turn around.
Where this woman started at the beginning of the chapter as an abandoned child in the field, nobody cared.
And now this woman has having been transformed and blessed and filled and overflowing.
Now this woman comes to the place where she is taking her children and treating them.
The way that she was treated, offering them not caring about them, having no compassion and no pity for them, and burning them in the fire.
And God says these are my children.
My blessings that I've provided to you.
And you have misused and abused everything that I've done.
In your life, verse 22 and in all your abominations and acts of harlotry you did not remember.
The days of your youth.
When you were naked and bare struggling in your blood.
God calls all of this abominations.
Acts of harlotry.
In your pursuit of all of these things, they are horrendous and disgusting when you see the real picture.
This allegory is just a picture, but it actually accurately portrays.
The shock, the tragedy, the betrayal.
That Israel has done.
Toward her God.
It accurately portrays the shock, the the betrayal, the the tragedy.
That takes place when someone turns away from the Lord to pursue.
Their own ways, their own ideas, their own thoughts.
You did not remember the days?
Of your youth, Pastor David Guzik says Israel haughty pride was rooted in her failure to remember.
They no longer remembered their poor and humble beginning.
And how all the protection provision and adornment they enjoyed.
Was the blessing and gift of God.
This should strike our hearts a bit.
We we should wince a little at at understanding these things and recognize that in my failures and in my pursuit of sin and everything that I do against God, I do with the very resources that God provides that.
I take God's blessings.
And abuse them and misuse them when I.
Pursue a path.
It hurts a bit.
It should hurt a.
Bit we need to remember.
Of where we're at and how it has been provided by the Lord from the beginning.
The Lord says you did not remember the days.
Of your youth.
You've forgotten where you've come from.
You've been puffed up in pride and trusting in yourself.
I I wonder a little bit if this is one of the reasons why Paul kind of held onto.
His testimony so tightly he always remembered where he came from. You go through the book of actually here, the account of Paul's conversion, repeatedly.
In the chapter as it's recorded in Chapter 9.
But then he tells the story and and it gives the impression that every time Paul is given an opportunity to share his testimony, he tells the story of where he was.
He says in first Corinthians chapter 15, I am the least of the Apostles, who I'm not worthy to be called an apostle because I persecuted the Church of God.
Like he, he always held on to the memory of what he was before God had transformed his life.
Now that doesn't mean that we hold on to that memory.
So that we always walk around and you know how terrible we were.
But that we hold on to that memory so that we never forget how good God has been, so that we hold on to the reality of what God has done and the blessings that he has poured out to help us.
The blessings that God has provided.
And here again is where I suggest we hold on to that old saying, except for the grace of God, there go I that we can look at this allegory, we can look at this picture, we can look at the actuality in the history of the nation of Israel, and we can kind of shake our head and go.
And we'll never do that, right?
That we can kind of scorn the idea or scorn them for doing so, but we need to hold on to this reality that.
All of us are capable of fulfilling this allegory perfectly.
All of us are capable.
Of having God work in.
Our life to this degree, and then throwing it all away in the pursuit of sinful pleasures, we are all capable of this exact thing.
So may the Lord help us to remember where he's brought us from.
To help guard us against the misuse.
Of all the blessings he's provided, the very breath that we have, the health that we have, the energy that we have, the money that we have, the family that we have, the relationships that we have, the talents that we have, the techniques and abilities that we have, everything that we have is from God.
And there is no possible way to sin against God.
Without using the blessings that God has provided for us.
And that makes it doubly bad.
That makes the betrayal doubly deep.
Because it's not just a sin against God.
But it's like going and asking your spouse.
For something, for a blessing and then taking and using.
Method of betrayal against your spouse.
It's it's the deepest kind.
It's the worst kind.
And it's what we do.
We misuse gods blessings.
When we pursue a path of sin.
Point #4 for tonight Verses 23 through 30 gives us this. You cannot satisfy yourself with sin.
And this is the interesting thing.
That great betrayal that takes place.
It's not like the betrayal happens and you have to kind of cut that corner and you misuse gods blessings, but then you're set and you're good and and everything is great.
No, it gets worse.
Because then all of that betrayal and all of that hurts.
That you have inflicted.
You cannot satisfy yourself.
With sin verse 23 and 24 says then it was so.
After all your wickedness and God puts a little parentheses here, side note, woe, woe to you, says the Lord God.
That you also built yourself a shrine and made a high place for yourself in every.
Street God kind of interrupts himself here, he says.
After all your wickedness and and it's it's just kind of staggering to reflect on all the wickedness.
And so he.
Says let's just stop and pause for a moment.
Woe, woe to you how tragic it is, all of the wickedness that has gone on in contrast to all of the blessing that has been.
And yet you're not done.
And so, he says, you built yourself a shrine, made a high place in every street.
You didn't just violate our covenant.
You didn't just play the harlot, but now, exponentially.
You filled your life.
With Harlotry, you filled your life with sin.
Against me, you filled your life with offensive behavior.
And rebellion against me.
In verse 25 you built your high places.
At the head of every Rd.
You made your beauty to be abhorred.
You offered yourself to everyone who passed by and multiplied your acts of harlotry.
You also committed harlotry with the Egyptians, your very fleshly neighbors, and increased your acts of harlotry to provoke me to anger.
Behold, therefore I stretch out my hand against you, diminish your allotment.
And gave you.
Up to the will of those who hate.
You the daughters.
Of the Philistines who were ashamed of.
Your lewd behave.
Here, God is continuing to describe this increase.
At the head of every Rd you built, altars you offered yourself to everyone who passed by.
You multiplied your harlotry.
And on and on.
There was this increase, there was this.
More and more and more pursuit of sin.
And so, God says, I had to step in.
I stretched out my hand and diminished your territory.
And the nation of Israel, the nation of Judah, began to shrink and shrink and shrink as they continued down this path.
The Philistines saw all that was going on, and they they were ashamed of the behavior.
They could not believe what the nation of Israel was practicing.
And so they were taking more and more territory, disgusted by the behavior of the Philistines, or but the Philistines were disgusted by the behavior of the Israelites.
Verse 28 you played the harlot.
With the Assyrians?
Because you were insatiable.
Indeed, you played the harlot with them and still were not satisfied.
Moreover, you multiplied your acts of harlotry as far as the land of the trader Chaldea.
And even then.
You were not satisfied three times here in verse 20 and 29.
You were insatiable.
You were not satisfied.
You were not satisfied.
No matter how much sin you pursued, no matter how much you try to fill your life with these things, no matter how much you pursued these things.
You were left empty still.
You cannot satisfy yourself.
Sin the Prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah chapter 2.
Records this from the Lord, for my people have committed 2 evils.
They have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.
Filled their lives with these cisterns, with these alternate paths apart from God and disregarding God.
And they're broken.
And so they're not satisfied.
And filling their lives with these things more and more.
It causes more and more and the life gets worse and worse and worse as more and more sin and worse and worse in becomes a part of it.
And and and yet still there is this.
Thirst this miserable condition.
Well, all the while.
God describes himself as the fountain of living waters.
That if you find yourself unsatisfied, it's 'cause you're not.
At the Fountain of Living Waters, you're at the broken cistern that can hold no.
In verse 30 God says how degenerate is your heart, says the Lord God.
Seeing you do all these things, the deeds.
Of a brazen harlot.
Your heart is so messed up, the Lord says.
Oh man, it's astounding how how degenerate your heart is.
And that you behave this way.
And you're still unsatisfied.
You're still miserable. Well.
The Lord continues on with this allegory, and so in the reading tomorrow we'll continue on this journey and although it's bleak, incredibly bleak in the middle here.
Where we're at.
To give a little sneak preview, jump down to verse 60 here of Ezekiel Chapter 16 and see where the Lord concludes this whole allegory, he says in verse 60.
I will remember my.
Covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you.
Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed when you receive your older and younger sisters, for I will give them to you for daughters.
But not because of my covenant with you, and I will establish my covenant with you.
Then you shall know that I and the Lord, that you may remember and be ashamed, and never open your mouth anymore because of your shame, when I provide you an atonement.
For all you have done, says the Lord God.
As gross and awful and terrible as.
This picture is.
The Lord says I've not given up.
It's interesting, you know, he describes this incredible picture, rags to riches, this glorious scene in the first part of the chapter.
There in chapter 16 verses one through 14, but then in verse 15 it starts.
With the word but.
But you trust it in your own beauty.
And so there's this change of direction here.
Now the story goes down this other path, the pursuit of sinfulness that is just a miserable wretchedness.
That is described.
But then it reaches another turning point here in verse 60 when it begins with the word nevertheless.
Even with all of that in consideration, even though I blessed you so much and did so much good in your life, and then you turned and used that good for evil and wickedness and rebelled against me, nevertheless I will remember my covenant with you.
Nevertheless, I will provide atonement for you and for all that you have done.
Nevertheless, I'm still going to work out my grace and my mercy.
In your life.
So God can recover.
This woman who has turned against him, he can recover this nation who has turned against him, he can recover any person who has turned against him.
But we need.
To come face to face with the reality.
We need to be shown our abominations.
Sin is a deep betrayal against God.
When you understand how much.
It was God who loved you and gave you life, and how every aspect of your life and every good thing in your life is a blessing from God for you.
When you understand that, it's those very blessings that God has provided that you use when you walk down the path of sin and ignore the calls of repentance that God has provided.
The betrayal there is deep.
It is the worst.
Kind and yet and all of that.
What do you get out of it?
You can't satisfy yourself with sin.
And so it's valuable for us.
To consider the picture.
To remember the days of our youth.
To not go down the path or to come back quickly when we start to head down that path.
So that we do not go full headlong into a life of miserable rebellion against God.
Making the betrayal worse and worse as we continue to ignore all that he has done for us.
I want to finish up reading the words of the apostle Paul in Ephesians Chapter 2.
You can turn there if you'd like, or I'll read them for you.
Ephesians chapter 2.
He says in you he made a life who were dead in trespasses and sins.
In which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the Prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.
Among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lust of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
Who is rich in mercy?
Because of his great love with which he loved us.
Even when we were dead in trespasses.
Made us alive together with Christ.
By grace, you have been saved.
And raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
That in the ages to come.
He might show the exceeding riches of his grace.
In his kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Lord, we look forward.
To those ages to come.
Well, your grace.
Will be demonstrated by that finished and completed work.
In our lives.
But in between here and then.
Choices to make.
Decisions, Lord, that are set before us temptations.
Traps that the enemy has placed there to try to pull us away from you.
To pull us back.
Into the ways that we once walked.
According to the Sons of disobedience, the the nature of this world.
Lord, I pray that you would.
To see clearly.
Sin for what it is.
To not be blinded in our pride, trusting in our own selves and.
Trusting in the blessings that you have provided above you.
Help us learn to see clearly.
Continually our need for you.
Help us learn to appreciate.
The work that you have done.
In US and for us.
Lord, may we never forget.
May we never lose sight.
Of how much good?
You have done for us.
Or that we.
Might continue to draw near to you.
Protect us, God.
From the deceitfulness of our hearts.
I pray that you would open our eyes.
Or to see the abominations that need to be seen.
Knowing, Lord, that we can come back.
And be covered by your Grace and your mercy again.
And so may we not stray.
For long down those paths of rebellion and sin.
But help us so to see them quickly, to recognize them, and to run to you.
Trusting in you.
And your goodness and your grace towards us.
I pray this in Jesus name.