The Nakedness of Jerusalem: Spiritual Reflections on Ezekiel 16

Ezekiel 16:15: “But you trusted in your beauty and used your fame to become a prostitute. You lavished your favors on anyone who passed by and your beauty became his.”

Jerusalem was made beautiful in the eyes of the nations by the hand of God, but she chose to use her fame to seek after the gods of the nations, instead of being faithful to her God. In a similar way, God has given the church great prestige in the eyes of the nation, but many of its members have chosen to use their fame to chase after the views and values of the nations, rather than those of God.

Ezekiel 16:20: “And you took your sons and daughters whom you bore to me and sacrificed them as food to the idols.”

Jerusalem imitated the practice of contemporary pagan nations by sacrificing their first-born children to pagan idols. Similarly, some of the shepherds in the church have sacrificed to Satan the flock entrusted to them by the preaching of contemporary heresies and morals, which kill the soul of the Christian.

Ezekiel 16:22: “In all your detestable practices and your prostitution you did not remember the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare, kicking about in your blood.”

Jerusalem failed to recall the day when it was impoverished and God exalted it. Similarly, many in the church have forgotten the state of their impoverished soul, which God was gracious enough to vivify with His life-giving sacraments.

Ezekiel 16:25: “At every street corner you built your lofty shrines and degraded your beauty, spreading your legs with increasing promiscuity to anyone who passed by.”

Jerusalem set up shrines to pagan idols on every corner and defiled itself by worshipping any false god that was presented to it. Likewise, some in the church have promoted every false belief that is available today, as they have been “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14).

Ezekiel 16:27: “So I stretched out my hand against you and reduced your territory; I gave you over to the greed of your enemies, the daughters of the Philistines, who were shocked by your lewd conduct.”

For its many sins, Jerusalem was punished by God, who gave it into the hands of its enemies. Likewise, those who have embraced falsehood and the spirit of the age, have been handed over by God to the enemies of the church, i.e. Satan and his demons.

Ezekiel 16:32: “You adulterous wife! You prefer strangers to your own husband!”

Jerusalem exchanged her husband, the LORD, for pagan idols. Similarly, some members of the church, who have been bound to God in baptism, have preferred the teachings of other religions, than those of their Lord.

Ezekiel 16:37: “therefore I am going to gather all your lovers, with whom you found pleasure, those you loved as well as those you hated. I will gather them against you from all around and will strip you in front of them, and they will see you stark naked.”

God judged Jerusalem for its wayward behavior and promised to shame it in front of all the nations it sought after. In a similar way, the Lord has shamed many in the church,[1] in front of the entire world, since they went after worldly doctrines and behavior.

[1] See the following article:

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