About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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Jerusalem The Prostitute

 

Revelation 11:8 states that the dead bodies of the two witnesses "will lie in the public square of the great city - which is figuratively called Sodom ... (NIV)."  Knowing this great city is Jerusalem , you might wonder why God associates the city He loves (Psalm 46:4) with the wicked city of Sodom.  The answer to this question is found in Ezekiel 16.  I quote from the NIV.                

"This is what the Sovereign Lord says to Jerusalem : Your ancestry and birth were in the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite.  On the day you were born your cord was not
cut, nor were you washed with water to make you clean, nor were you rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloths. No 
one looked on you with pity or had compassion enough to do any of these things for you. Rather, you were thrown out into the open field, for on the day you were born you were despised."

Canaanite tribes who occupied the land that would become Jerusalem saw no value in the property, so they left it undeveloped.            

"Then I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and as you lay there in your blood I said to you, 'Live!'  I made you grow like a plant of the field.  You 
grew and developed and entered puberty. Your breasts had formed and your hair had grown, yet you were stark naked."

Leave it to the Lord to take unwanted property, develop it into something beautiful, and claim it as His own.

"Later I passed by and when I looked at you and saw that you were old enough for love, I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your naked body.  I gave you my solemn oath and entered into a covenant with you I bathed you with water and washed the blood from you and put ointments on you.  I clothed you with an embroidered dress and put sandals of leather on you I adorned you with silver and gold your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty ..."   

The Lord not only rescued and developed the land that would become Jerusalem, He married Himself to that land. 

"But you trusted in your beauty and used your fame to become a prostitute.  You lavished your favours on anyone who passed by and your beauty became his.  You took the gold and silver I gave you and you made for yourself male idols and engaged in prostitution with them You took your sons and daughters who you bore to me and sacrificed them as food for idols You slaughtered my children At every street corner you built your shrines and degraded your beauty, spreading your legs with increasing promiscuity to anyone who passed by You engaged in prostitution with neighbours with large genitals."       

In other words, Jerusalem gave herself to any guy with a large penis.  That's pretty vivid language, don't you think? 

"You adulterous wife!  You prefer strangers to your own husband.  All prostitutes receive gifts, but you give gifts to your lovers, bribing them to come to you from everywhere for your illicit favours."     

Prostitutes are normally paid for their services, but not so with Jerusalem.  She was so enamoured with her God given beauty that she paid men to enter into an adulterous relationship with her. 

This is just a sample of Ezekiel 16.  You might want to read the whole chapter.  Jerusalem is portrayed as a pitiful, discarded, baby who the Lord rescued and eventually took for Himself in marriage.  He transformed her into a gorgeously attractive woman, but she took her beauty and gave herself to her pagan neighbours.  For this reason Revelation 11:8 associates Jerusalem with Sodom, but the story doesn't end here.  

Ezekiel predicted the day when God would punish Jerusalem for her sin.  "Therefore you prostitute this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because you poured out your lust and exposed your naked body in your promiscuity with your lovers I am going to gather all of your lovers, with whom you found pleasure I will gather them against you from all around and I will strip you in front of them, and they will see you stark naked.  I will sentence you to the punishment I will bring on you the blood vengeance of my wrath and jealous anger.  Then I will deliver you into the hands of your lovers and they will destroy your shrines.  I will put a stop to your prostitution, and you will no longer pay your lovers."       

All of the Old Testament prophets predicted the day when God's wrath would be poured out on Jerusalem .  The nations to whom Jerusalem gave herself in times past will become, and I suggest have already become, her enemies.  Although Jerusalem has experienced God's anger in past centuries, she has yet to experience His wrath as predicted by the Old Testament prophets.  Joel 3:2 will be fulfilled when all nations on earth invade Judah and Jerusalem as an act of divine judgment.  It's known as the time of Jacob's trouble (Jeremiah 30:7). 

Judgment isn't the end of the Jerusalem story either.  Ezekiel 16 ends by saying; "This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will deal with you as you deserve, because you have despised my oath by breaking the covenant.  Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you I will establish my covenant with you and you will know that I am the LORD.  Then, when I make atonement for you for all you have done, you will remember and be ashamed and never again open your mouth because of your humiliation, declares the Sovereign Lord."     

Ezekiel echoes all of the prophets when he predicted the restoration of Jerusalem as God's beloved wife.  If the word everlasting in this text means everlasting, and, if God hates divorce, then His remarriage to Jerusalem will be both certain and eternal.  

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