an assumed excuse
Ezekiel 16:44-52 (JDV)
Ezekiel 16:44 ” ‘Notice, everyone who uses proverbs will quote this proverb about you: “Like mother, like daughter.”
Ezekiel 16:45 You are the daughter of your mother, who thinks lightly of her husband and children. You are the sister of your sisters, who think lightly of their husbands and children. Your mother was a Hethite and your father an Amorite.
Ezekiel 16:46 Your older sister was Samaria, who lived with her daughters to the north of you, and your younger sister was Sodom, who lived with her daughters to the south of you.
Ezekiel 16:47 Didn’t you walk in their ways and do their repulsive practices? It was only a short time before all your ways were more corrupt than theirs.
Ezekiel 16:48 ” ‘As I live – the declaration of the Lord Yahveh – your sister Sodom and her daughters have not behaved as you and your daughters have.
Ezekiel 16:49 Notice this was the violation of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters had pride, plenty of food, and comfortable security, but didn’t support the poor and needy.
Ezekiel 16:50 They were haughty and did repulsive acts before me, so I removed them when I saw this.
Ezekiel 16:51 But Samaria did not commit even half your failures. You have multiplied your repulsive practices beyond theirs and made your sisters appear righteous by all the repulsive acts you have committed.
Ezekiel 16:52 You must also bear your disgrace since you have helped your sisters out. For they appear more righteous than you because of your failures, which you committed more detestably than they did. So you also, be ashamed and bear your disgrace, since you have made your sisters appear righteous.
an assumed excuse
When I was a young boy, I was incredibly lazy. Instead of participating in sports in school, I wrote a fake note from “my doctor” excusing me from strenuous activity. Either my physical education instructor fell for it, or he (probably) just didn’t care. My assumed excuse was bogus. I had no excuse.
Ezekiel is now responding to an assumed excuse that the inhabitants of Jerusalem would give for their sinful behavior. They looked around at all the nations surrounding them — some of whom they were related to. They claimed to have been only following their lead.
The argument fell apart once Ezekiel began pointing out that none of those relatives ever rebelled against God the way Judah had. Jerusalem had privileges that came with a covenantal relationship, and that made their violations all that more heinous.
Consider — my friends — how responsible we are to our God, who gave us the privilege of knowing him through his only Son. How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?
LORD, we have no excuses. We can blame no one for our sins. We beg your forgiveness and ask you to empower us to become faithful and stay faithful to your word and to your Christ.