A joke: two outlaw gunfighters, Pete and Tom, brothers and bad men, were notorious in the Old West. Tom, alas, was slow on the draw and killed. Pete cautioned the preacher if he did not call Tom a saint at his burial, the preacher would be next in the grave. So, when giving the eulogy, the preacher detailed the bad life Tom had lived, but concluded, “compared to his wicked brother Pete, Tom was a saint.”
“As I live, declares the Lord God, your sister Sodom and her daughters have not done as you and your daughters have done. Samaria has not committed half your sins. You have made your sisters appear righteous by all the abominations that you have committed” (Ezekiel 16:48, 51). According to God, Israel was Pete, Sodom and Samaria were Tom, and Israel made them look good by comparison.
God reminded Israel, you had it good. “You were adorned with gold and silver; your clothes were of fine linen and costly fabric and embroidered cloth. Your food was honey, olive oil and the finest flour. You became very beautiful and rose to be a queen” (Ezekiel 16:13). You were married to the King of kings–“I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord God and you became mine” (Ezekiel 16:8), but Israel loved her beauty more than the one who made her beautiful. “You trusted in your beauty and played the whore because of your renown and lavished your whorings on any passerby; your beauty became his” (Ezekiel 16:15). Our trouble begins when what God thinks of us is not enough and we seek the second opinion of others. Israel sought the company of creation rather than the Creator, and beauty became a whore.
My God, may You always receive the glory. In all of creation and in everything I do. Yours is the Name above all names.
What is astounding is I am not only part of Your family, but I am a co-heir with Your Son, Jesus Christ. Not only am I clothed in His righteousness, but I share His eternal treasure. Thank You, Father, because when I make You first, I discover all my dreams and desires are fulfilled. My greatest joy comes in Your glory.