Modern Times: What does “Spiritual Adultery” look like? (Ezekiel 23)

This chapter of the bible speaks of Gods people committing terrible acts of metaphoric adultery on him as their first love, by worshiping other false idols. But what do the “whoredoms” and “lewdness” actually refer to and can this same message be applied to the modern day church?

“And Aholah played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbours,”

“Which were clothed with blue, captains and rulers, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding upon horses. Thus she committed her whoredoms with them, with all them that were the chosen men of Assyria, and with all on whom she doted: with all their idols she defiled herself.”Ezekiel‬ ‭23:5- 7‬ ‭KJV‬‬
The Lord exposes Samaria and Jerusalem for their disloyalty, as they were openly serving idols and taking on the foreign ways, cultures and influences of the very people they were meant to influence by the ordinances and ways of the Lord.

From this comparison and Gods deeply intimate and emotive language, we begin to see the severity of the sins committed. God is the extremely hurt by the infidelity of his love. It also becomes clear that Gods people are intended to be set apart and separate from the world, we are in the world but not of it. Jesus says it like this… “I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.” John 17:14-16

So here we clearly see that the people of God must not be the same as unbelievers, if we are then maybe we need to question ourselves if we are committing the same “whoredom” but in different ways…

My children keep yourselves from Idols

Many parts of the bible can be applied to today’s daily living, including Ezekiel 23. The main message from this chapter is that God was displeased with his people because they had worshipped other Gods, not put him first and defiled his holy temple (both their metaphoric human bodies and the actual temples). Now let’s not exclude ourselves too quickly from this. Since the same sin can be committed different ways, and there is “nothing new under the sun”, to receive what God Spirit is saying to us, we just need to apply it to our lives.

After all, anything put before God is an idol. It could be a job, a person, your phone, your music, even yourself. Anything that comes before God is an idol. Back in verse 7 the Lord says that we actually “defile” ourselves with idols. Defilement is the result of sin but death and separation from God is the ultimate result of sin.

“Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Because thou hast forgotten me, and cast me behind thy back, therefore bear thou also thy lewdness and thy whoredoms. The Lord said moreover unto me; Son of man, wilt thou judge Aholah and Aholibah? yea, declare unto them their abominations;” Ezekiel‬ ‭23:35-36‬ ‭KJV‬‬
So if we create an idol what we are actually doing is forgetting God and this is an abomination to him, more broadly speaking. This can be applied to a person individually and also to the church collectively.

But it gets even deeper in the following verses;

“Moreover this they have done unto me: they have defiled my sanctuary in the same day, and have profaned my sabbaths. For when they had slain their children to their idols, then they came the same day into my sanctuary to profane it; and, lo, thus have they done in the midst of mine house.”Ezekiel‬ ‭23:38-39‬ ‭

Notice the phrase, the “same day”. So here we have people of God, after they have been worshipping their alternative idols and “other” Gods, coming into the house of God to also worship him, almost as if they were right with God. They were not coming to repent or expose themselves to the Lord, but to cover their sins and behave like they had done nothing wrong.

Is that you today?

Do you give all your time energy and effort to other things in your life and then try to search for God at the bottom of your pile when it’s convenient? These are the same acts of Adultery that broke Gods heart against Jerusalem and Samaria. Maybe it’s time to take a deeper look into our “lovers” and deepest affections and be sure that God always has preeminence…

Lord Jesus, thank you for your strong and powerful love for me that saved my soul from hell and gave me power to walk in the spirit. We repent for our “whoredoms” that we have committed towards you by creating idols and leaving you behind in our hearts. Please forgive us and help us to walk in the uprightness that you intended for us. To not have any other Gods before you is what we desire the most. Walk with us first and foremost,