The Lord says the house of Israel, which He once regarded as His precious possession, has become dross from silver, worthless. Therefore, “As men gather silver, bronze, iron, lead, and tin into the midst of a furnace, to blow fire on it, to melt it; so I will gather you in My anger and in My fury, and I will leave you there and melt you.” However, the Lord is sovereign over their punishment and is serving the judgment to refine His people and to salvage what He once saw as precious.
The Lord compares Samaria, the capital of Northern Israel, and Jerusalem, the capital of Southern Judah, to two sisters; Oholah for Samaria and Oholibah for Jerusalem. Both of these sisters were the Lord’s, but both played the harlot with others. The Lord says, “They committed harlotry in Egypt, they committed harlotry in their youth.” Remember before Joshua died during the Conquest Era, he said to the Israelites, “Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord!” (Joshua 24:14). And all the people said they were going to serve the Lord. But then during the Judges Era, a new generation arose that didn’t know the Lord, and they fell into all sorts of immortality and idolatry. The people have continued in their unfaithfulness to the Lord, and the Lord has continued to pursue His people in spite of their unfaithfulness.
Since Samaria played the harlot with the Assyrians, the Lord said, “Therefore I have delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, for whom she lusted.” And her sister, Jerusalem, saw the destruction of Northern Israel as a nation and still didn’t repent and turn to the Lord – “Now although her sister Oholibah saw this, she became more corrupt in her lust than she, and in her harlotry more corrupt than her sister’s harlotry.” So the Lord removed His protection from Jerusalem and is turning them over to their lover, the Babylonians. “Because you have forgotten Me and cast Me behind your back, therefore you shall bear the penalty of your lewdness and your harlotry.”
“Now it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came against Jerusalem and encamped against it; and they built a siege wall against it all around. So the city was besieged until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.”
The Lord has Ezekiel record the day of the siege of Jerusalem because it’s the beginning of the final siege and ultimately the destruction of the city of Jerusalem. There is nothing that will stop the coming judgment – “‘I, the Lord, have spoken it; it shall come to pass, and I will do it; I will not hold back, nor will I spare, nor will I relent; according to your ways and according to your deeds they will judge you,’ says the Lord God.”
Tomorrow Ezekiel’s wife dies, and the Lord tells him not to mourn her death. Keep reading to find out why. (Ezekiel 22:17-23:49, 2 Kings 25:1-2, Jeremiah 52:4-5, Jeremiah 39:1, Ezekiel 24:1-14)