Pride and Idolatry

The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), August 22

imagesIn the beginning, God creates man in His image, gives him dominion over the world, and walks with him in the cool of the day. Sadly, Adam and Eve choose the fruit of the forbidden tree over union with God. Since that day all humanity struggles with unfaithfulness to God—spiritual adultery. One commentator even describes this behavior as spiritual nymphomania—uncontrollable and excessive sexual behavior. This insatiable appetite for anything other than God accurately describes Israel and Judah, as well as people today.

The activities of Oholah (Israel) and Oholibah (Judah) picture the heart of all humanity, “Therefore thus says the LORD God: ‘Because you have forgotten Me and cast Me behind your back, therefore you shall bear the penalty of your lewdness and your harlotry” (Ez. 23:35). Pride, stubbornness, an independent attitude, and distrust—all characteristics that, left unchecked, lead to unfaithfulness—to spiritual adultery.

Proud people think, “I can do what I want to do and have what I want to have, and no one can tell me otherwise.” They resist being under authority.

Stubborn people think, “I don’t want anyone to say that I can’t have whatever I want.” They ignore possible consequences to their actions.

Independent people think, “I don’t have to consider how what I do affects others.” They disregard the needs of others.
Distrusting people think, “God is keeping something good from me.” They yield to pessimism and negativity.

Since her inception Israel has resisted the covenant faithfulness of God. She has served and worshiped foreign gods; she has refused to listen to the prophets God has sent to warn her to return to God; she has neglected to consider the effect the sin of one generation has had on future generations; and she has doubted the good heart of God toward His people. Ezekiel ascribes Israel’s waywardness to her heart of adultery:

  • “Those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations where they are carried captive, because I was crushed by their adulterous heart which has departed from Me, and by their eyes which play the harlot after their idols” (Ezekiel 6:9, emphasis added).
  • Proud people reject authority, demand personal autonomy, and absolutely fail to understand that sin grieves the heart of God. They pursue everything but God. That is the essence of spiritual adultery

Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading (Ez. 22:17-23:49; 2 Kings 25:1-2; Jer. 52:4-5; 39:1; Ez. 24:1-14):
What imagery does Ezekiel use to describe the house of Israel in today’s reading? What do the three imageries have in common?
Describe the leaders, both spiritual and political, in Israel. What type of leader did the Lord fail to find in Israel?