Ezekiel: Effective Ministry To The Spiritually Rebellious

Part XVI: Jerusalem's Fitting Punishment For Her Sin

(Ezekiel 16:35-52)


I.               Introduction

A.    God is so perfectly righteous that when He punishes men for their sins, the punishment precisely fits the sin.

B.    This principle is displayed in God's predicted punishment of Jerusalem in Ezekiel 16:35-52, and we view this passage for insight and edification in our relationship to the Lord (as follows):

II.            Jerusalem's Fitting Punishment For Her Sin, Ezekiel 16:35-52.

A.    Having compared Jerusalem's wickedness in Ezekiel 16:15-34 to that of an immoral wife, God addressed her as "O prostitute" in Ezekiel 16:35, calling her to hear His announcement of judgment against her.

B.    Since Jerusalem had been like an immoral wife to the Lord in making protection treaties with foreign nations instead of seeking God's protection, since she had worshiped false idols instead of the Lord and since she had sacrificed her children, really God's children, to false idols, God would administer punishment upon her for such sins of spiritual unfaithfulness to Him, Ezekiel 16:36.

C.    The Lord would gather all of Jerusalem's false "lovers" against her, Gentiles to whom she had turned for protection, and they would strip her bare, expose her nakedness by way of defeat in war and seize her goods, Ezekiel 16:37.  Immoral wives were punished by death under the fury and jealousy of their enraged husbands, so God would give Jerusalem into the hand of her false lovers who would break down her high places, strip her of her clothes, take her fair jewels and leave her bare, Ezekiel 16:38.

D.    Immoral women were executed in that era by being stoned to death, so God promised to have spiritually immoral Jerusalem slain with stones and the sword and her houses burned with fire in the presence of many women so that she would no longer play the role of a spiritually immoral prostitute, Ezekiel 16:39-41.

E.     God would expend His wrath on the city until it was satiated, and then He would be at rest, Ezekiel 16:42-43.

F.     To clarify the greatness of Jerusalem's sins, the Lord then declared how much more wicked she was than her evil "sister" cities that God had already destroyed in judgment, those sisters being Jerusalem's older "sister" Samaria up north in Israel and her wicked younger "sister" city Sodom to the south, Ezekiel 16:44-52:

1.      The Lord indicated that a proverb would be spoken comparing Jerusalem to other cities, that proverb being, "As is the mother, so is her daughter," Ezekiel 16:44.

2.      Specifically, Jerusalem was the daughter of a woman who had loathed her husband and her children, and Jerusalem was one among three sisters as her mother was a Hittite and her father an Amorite, referring to her origin under the pagan, godless Jebusites, Ezekiel 16:45 with 16:3; Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1257.

3.      Jerusalem's older sister was Samaria of the Northern Kingdom whom God had already destroyed in punishment for her idolatry, and her younger sister was Sodom whom God had destroyed in punishment for sin in the days of Abraham, Ezekiel 16:46.

4.      Nevertheless, regardless of God's already having punished Samaria and Sodom, Jerusalem was even more wicked than they had been, Ezekiel 16:47.

5.      Specifically, God noted that Sodom and her people had not committed the degree of evil Jerusalem had done, for Sodom was guilty of pride, materialism, idleness, ignoring the plight of the poor and practicing sexual abominations, so God had destroyed Sodom's people, Ezekiel 16:48-50.

6.      Samaria had committed only half of the sins of Jerusalem, Ezekiel 16:51a.

7.      However, Jerusalem had multiplied her sins more than Sodom and Samaria, in comparison seemingly justifying those cities as opposed to herself in God's view, Ezekiel 16:51b; Ibid., p. 1258.

8.      Jerusalem had judged her "sisters" of Samaria and Sodom as being wicked, so now she would bear her own shame for her sins that were more abominable in comparison to her "sister" cities, Ezekiel 16:52.


Lesson: For having acted in the spiritual realm like an immoral wife in the physical  realm, God promised to punish Jerusalem with the punishment of an immoral wife.  Indeed, Jerusalem's sins were so great in comparison to those of Samaria and Sodom that God had already punished, her judgment was certain to fall with severity!


Application: (1) If God deals with us with severity in a specific realm of life, may we review what we have done in that realm and confess it, for His punishment fits the sin!  (2) If we see God punish another party -- a "Samaria" or a "Sodom " -- may we examine ourselves to see if we have sinned akin to their sin, and if so, to repent.