From riches to rags

Ezekiel 16:8-15 “When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine,” says the Lord GOD. “Then I washed you in water; yes, I thoroughly washed off your blood, and I anointed you with oil. I clothed you in embroidered cloth and gave you sandals of badger skin; I clothed you with fine linen and covered you with silk. I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your wrists, and a chain on your neck. And I put a jewel in your nose, earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head. Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. You ate pastry of fine flour, honey, and oil. You were exceedingly beautiful, and succeeded to royalty. Your fame went out among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through My splendor which I had bestowed on you,” says the Lord GOD. “But you trusted in your own beauty, played the harlot because of your fame, and poured out your harlotry on everyone passing by who would have it.”

This passage was written to Israel as their idolatry had finally brought judgment upon them and they were carried off to Babylonian captivity. The Lord reminded them that HE was the one who made a mighty nation out of one man and bestowed it with glory and beauty. Israel was as helpless as a newborn baby, abandoned and left for dead, but the Lord loved them and gave them such prominence among the nations of the world. Wouldn’t you think they would be grateful to God? Faithful to God? They weren’t. Their history is littered with their backslidings as they forgot God and chased after the gods of the nations around them.

I wish I could say that we are different. Sadly, we are not. The financial prosperity that God has blessed us with, we squander on our own desires. The gifts He has given us for the purpose of serving Him and building His kingdom we have used to serve ourselves and expand our own influence and importance. We too, forget.

Think for a moment about the relationship between a father and child. That father provides all that the child needs. Food and clothing certainly, but what father would be content to clothe his child in rags. He wants to give her beautiful princess dresses so she feels pretty. Imagine he sends her off to school in her pretty sparkly clothes and she comes home in tattered shorts and a stained T-shirt. He would be shocked by her appearance and ask what happened to her beautiful clothes. She traded her beautiful dress to a friend because she liked the shorts and T-shirt better. Imagine the father’s sorrow. He wanted to make her beautiful but she traded it for filth.

Beloved, God has made us beautiful in Christ. Don’t trade that beauty for the pollutions that inevitably follow our ventures into idolatry with this world.

It just isn’t worth it.

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