Adulterous Sisters: Oholah and Oholibah

Daily Devotion Monday July 10, 2017

 

We must guard ourselves from idolatry. Image source: Wikipedia

 

“Oholah engaged in prostitution while she was still mine; she lusted after her lovers… She gave herself as a prostitute to all the elite of Assyrians and defiled herself with all the idols of everyone she lusted after… Her sister Oholibah saw this, yet in her lust and prostitution she was more depraved than her sister. She too lusted after the Assyrians… I saw that she too defiled herself; both of them went the same way.”

Ezekiel 23:5-11

The Meriam Webster dictionary defines adultery in this way: “voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband.”[1] Meanwhile in his Bible Dictionary, Easton writes that adultery is;

“Conjugal infidelity. An adulterer was a man who had illicit intercourse with a married or a betrothed woman, and such a woman was an adulteress. Intercourse between a married man and an unmarried woman was fornication. Adultery was regarded as a great social wrong, as well as a great sin.“[2]

Adultery is socially wrong and wicked, God detests it. Adulterous men and women who don’t repent and turn from this practice will not fail to receive the wage of sin which is death—being separated from God eternally (Romans 6:23), they “will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21). The sexually immoral together with the “unbelieving, the vile, the murders…, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death” (Rev. 21:8).

Apart from sexual infidelity, there is yet another dangerous form of infidelity that many who haven’t engaged in sexual adultery might have committed—it is spiritual adulteration. Many of us after being saved from either unbelief or believe in something other the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—the Highest God, we eventually turn to various forms of idolatry which is spiritual adultery. When God delivered the Israelites from Egypt and they conquered and settled in the Promised Land, He warned them against idolatry. In the Decalogue, what we know as the Ten Commandments, the LORD God says; “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:2-3).

No sooner had they settled in the Promised Land than they become very disobedient to this command and bowed to other gods. Both Samaria and Jerusalem alike acted adulterously towards God, as such one after another, the Lord caused their destruction. Referring to the two cities as adulterous sisters in Ezekiel’s parable where they have been named as Oholah and Oholibah respectively, the Lord condemned Samaria and Jerusalem for their adulteration. God said;

“Oholah engaged in prostitution while she was still mine; she lusted after her lovers… She gave herself as a prostitute to all the elite of Assyrians and defiled herself with all the idols of everyone she lusted after… Her sister Oholibah saw this, yet in her lust and prostitution she was more depraved than her sister. She too lusted after the Assyrians… I saw that she too defiled herself; both of them went the same way” (Ezekiel 23:5-11).

The LORD was displeased of their idolatry, he gave them up to their enemies whose gods they chose to worship. We must be careful not to follow the ways of these adulterous sisters. We must note that:

Idolatry is not just a pagan issue. It is not just and Old Testament or Jewish issue. It is a human issue… Everything that is not of God raises itself up against God, even in the life of a Christian… Idols don’t leave on their own. In the power of the Gospel, we have to tear them down—to destroy them. We need to remove them from our lives and depart from them.[3]

I pray that we will all strive to guard ourselves from idols (1 John 5:21). Rev. J

____________________________

[1] Definition of Adultery accessed from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/adultery

[2] Easton’s Bible Dictionary accessed from http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/adultery/

[3] Stetzer, Ed in “Idolatry is Alive Today: Why Modern Church Leaders still Fight an Old Battle” accessed from http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2014/october/idolatry-is-alive-today-why-modern-church-leaders-still-fig.html


Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture Quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version (NIV) 2011.

Rev. Julius Izza Tabi is the founding Director of this online New Dawn Ministries. He holds a Master of Philosophy in Religion, Society and Global Issues from the Norwegian School of Theology. Julius also is a pastor in the Anglican Diocese of Ma’di and West Nile of the Church of Uganda who believes that God’s timeless truth of salvation must be preached to all Nations. Help Donate here to support the New Dawn Ministries. You can also support this ministry by purchasing Julius’ popular books Triumphing Over Odds and Suffering and Pain? from Amazon. Thank you.

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