Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Ezekiel 16:48-52 -- On Siblings and Moral Superiority

"As I live, saith the Lord God, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters.
Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.
And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.
Neither hath Samaria committed half of thy sins; but thou hast multiplied thine abominations more than they, and hast justified thy sisters in all thine abominations which thou hast done.
Thou also, which hast judged thy sisters, bear thine own shame for thy sins that thou hast committed more abominable than they: they are more righteous than thou: yea, be thou confounded also, and bear thy shame, in that thou hast justified thy sisters."
Ezekiel 16:48-52

This is quite a lecture from the Lord, addressed to Jerusalem, so symbolically to the church and the believers about themselves in comparison to the non-believers.  And perhaps we occasionally need a reminder like this.  We have a tendency to think that because we have the gospel truth that we are better than other people, that they are evil and corrupt and we are good and pure and holy. :)  We judge our sisters (unbelievers or members of other churches) for sins which we find foreign and reprehensible, forgetting that our abominations are just as abominable, and often more so, as noted above.  We like to compare because we want to feel like our sins aren't quite as bad, and that we are naturally better in some way... it helps us feel more secure in our place and resistant to sin perhaps.  Unfortunately perhaps, it just isn't true.  We're all vulnerable to sin, even though it might have a different logo, brand, or catchphrase.  And *all* sin drives away the spirit.  Arguing whether one sin is worse than another is ultimately pointless since they all equally banish us from God's presence.
Today, let's try to stop alienating each other, when we are actually siblings.  Let's stop judging each other and thinking someone else's abominations are worse or scarier than our own.  Let's "bear our own shame" and look to ourselves and our personal burdens of sin, and start repenting as though our lives depended on it... for so they do in many ways.  Let's try to understand and help each other as sisters and siblings, rather than basking in our tempting, but largely imaginary, moral superiority. :)

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