Ezekiel writes of sisters, “Oholah was the name of the elder and Oholibah the name of her sister. As for their names, Oholah is Samaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem” (Ezekiel 23:4); Samaria, the capital of Israel, and Jerusalem of Judah. During the reign of Rehoboam, the Hebrew nation split in half, into two sisters. “To your tents, O Israel!” (1Kings 12:16), cried the older sister as she broke with Judah. Oholah means “her tent,” and Israel began worshipping idols and set up her own temple and priesthood. Oholibah means “my tent is in her,” and God’s temple remained in Jerusalem, but she was no more faithful than her big sister.
Confused yet? The names make this difficult to follow, but here is what happened: “Oholah (Israel) played the whore” (Ezekiel 23:5), and the consequences were terrible. “Her sister Oholibah (Judah) saw this (both the whoring and the consequences), and she became more corrupt than her sister in her lust and in her whoring, which was worse than that of her sister” (Ezekiel 23:11). It is baffling! Why doesn’t Oholibah learn from the mistakes of her sister and choose to do what is right?
At youth events, speakers often share with teenagers how bad they had been when they were young teenagers, and the consequences of their badness. “If the kids hear what I went through,” they reason, “they won’t make the same mistakes.” The speakers are usually wrong. What teenagers hear is if someone speaking up front at a youth event did bad things then they could do bad things, too. They ignore the consequences. Why? Because they like bad. Oholah liked bad, and Oholibah watched the bad things Oholah did and the bad things that happened and went ahead and did bad anyway.
God created this world and called it good. We chose to do things our way, and it has gone bad ever since. Consequences be damned, we like bad. We will love good again when we love God again.
My God, I did not love good, but was delighted with my own way, until You came along and showed me a better way. You loved me and brought me back into a relationship with You, and I found what I needed, my great God and Savior.
Thank You for the righteousness of Your Son Jesus Christ, which became my righteousness when I gave my life to Him. By Your grace, through faith, I can live again displaying Your goodness, serving others with the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ. May I, at all times, stand for Your Kingdom and Your righteousness.