How detestable our sin is in God's sight! - November 2021

by Pastor Pete Panitzke on November 21, 2021

Today’s lessons are very hard to read. Ezekiel 23 uses the imagery of prostitution to depict the efforts of the Israelites to find safety in alliances with foreign powers. Oholah (meaning “her tent”) refers to the northern nation of Israel with its capital of Samaria. The LORD had used the Assyrian empire to destroy the northern nation 130 years earlier. Oholibah (meaning “my tent is in her” because the LORD's temple was in Jerusalem) refers to the southern nation of Judah and its capital of Jerusalem.

In the final years before Jerusalem was destroyed in 586 BC, Judah’s kings switched alliances numerous times, first siding with Babylon in 608 BC, then with Egypt against Babylon. What was wrong these shifting alliances? The kings trusted in their political choices rather than in the LORD who promised to keep them safe.
As we read this vile chapter, may we search our own hearts and ask: LORD, reveal to me where I have trusted in anything other than You to keep me and my family safe? Reveal my own spiritual prostitution that fills You with disgust that I might turn from that sin in disgust as well. Then LORD, cleanse me with the blood of your Son. No matter how great our sin, “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son purifies us from every sin” (1 John 1:7).
John 11:38-57 starts so much better than the Old Testament reading with the raising of Lazarus. However, we see the Jewish leaders trusting in their own plans rather than trusting in the LORD. Yet, in the midst of their evil, we see the LORD is still at work. The Spirit speaks through the ungodly high priest to assure us: “It is better that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”


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