This series is taken from Burning Heart who are an organisation who are passionate about equipping churches with high quality, professionally produced and theologically rich teaching films and series. The Director is David Ingall who was the Rector of Holy Sepulchre London, an HTB Network church plant in the City of London. For more information visit their website https://www.burningheart.org
From Jane Austen to Soho, David goes on an emotional journey to come to terms with God’s judgement in session four.
23 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, there were two women, daughters of the same mother. 3 They became prostitutes in Egypt, engaging in prostitution from their youth. In that land their breasts were fondled and their virgin bosoms caressed. 4 The older was named Oholah, and her sister was Oholibah. They were mine and gave birth to sons and daughters. Oholah is Samaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem.
5 “Oholah engaged in prostitution while she was still mine; and she lusted after her lovers, the Assyrians—warriors 6 clothed in blue, governors and commanders, all of them handsome young men, and mounted horsemen. 7 She gave herself as a prostitute to all the elite of the Assyrians and defiled herself with all the idols of everyone she lusted after. 8 She did not give up the prostitution she began in Egypt, when during her youth men slept with her, caressed her virgin bosom and poured out their lust on her.
9 “Therefore I delivered her into the hands of her lovers, the Assyrians, for whom she lusted. 10 They stripped her naked, took away her sons and daughters and killed her with the sword. She became a byword among women, and punishment was inflicted on her.
11 “Her sister Oholibah saw this, yet in her lust and prostitution she was more depraved than her sister. 12 She too lusted after the Assyrians—governors and commanders, warriors in full dress, mounted horsemen, all handsome young men. 13 I saw that she too defiled herself; both of them went the same way.
14 “But she carried her prostitution still further. She saw men portrayed on a wall, figures of Chaldeans[a] portrayed in red, 15 with belts around their waists and flowing turbans on their heads; all of them looked like Babylonian chariot officers, natives of Chaldea.[b] 16 As soon as she saw them, she lusted after them and sent messengers to them in Chaldea. 17 Then the Babylonians came to her, to the bed of love, and in their lust they defiled her. After she had been defiled by them, she turned away from them in disgust. 18 When she carried on her prostitution openly and exposed her naked body, I turned away from her in disgust, just as I had turned away from her sister. 19 Yet she became more and more promiscuous as she recalled the days of her youth, when she was a prostitute in Egypt. 20 There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses. 21 So you longed for the lewdness of your youth, when in Egypt your bosom was caressed and your young breasts fondled.[c]
22 “Therefore, Oholibah, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will stir up your lovers against you, those you turned away from in disgust, and I will bring them against you from every side—
48 “So I will put an end to lewdness in the land, that all women may take warning and not imitate you. 49 You will suffer the penalty for your lewdness and bear the consequences of your sins of idolatry. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.”
The account in Ezekiel is not an easy read but that is the point. It is meant to be offensive and crude. It’s designed to upset you, to stir up your emotions and even your anger. God is trying to show us in our hearts and emotions how he feels about our sin. He takes the most scandalous image of sin and sex in that culture – and he says: ‘that’s what you’re like,” that’s what we’re like.
Of course, this was directed against the Old Testament Israelites, and it’s
their sin that is in the cross hairs. Yet perhaps we are supposed to hear the
force of that punch too. It isn’t just them and their sin that makes God feel
like that – this is how God feels about all our sin as well.
That’s hard to take, but if we can, it can change and transform the way
that we react to God’s judgement. If we’re willing to hear that and engage
with it in our hearts, it can change how we feel about judgement.