“God’s Message came to me: ‘Son of man, confront Jerusalem with her outrageous violations.’ Say this: ‘The Message of God, the Master, to Jerusalem: You were born and bred among Canaanites. Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite.
On the day you were born your umbilical cord was not cut, you weren’t bathed and cleaned up, you weren’t rubbed with salt, you weren’t wrapped in a baby blanket. No one cared a fig for you. No one did one thing to care for you tenderly in these ways. You were thrown out into a vacant lot and left there, dirty and unwashed—a newborn nobody wanted.
‘And then I came by. I saw you all miserable and bloody. Yes, I said to you, lying there helpless and filthy, ‘Live! Grow up like a plant in the field!’ And you did. You grew up. You grew tall and matured as a woman, full-breasted, with flowing hair. But you were naked and vulnerable, fragile and exposed.
I came by again and saw you, saw that you were ready for love and a lover. I took care of you, dressed you and protected you. I promised you my love and entered the covenant of marriage with you. I, God, the Master, gave my word. You became mine. I gave you a good bath, washing off all that old blood, and anointed you with aromatic oils. I dressed you in a colorful gown and put leather sandals on your feet. I gave you linen blouses and a fashionable wardrobe of expensive clothing. I adorned you with jewelry: I placed bracelets on your wrists, fitted you out with a necklace, emerald rings, sapphire earrings, and a diamond tiara. You were provided with everything precious and beautiful: with exquisite clothes and elegant food, garnished with honey and oil. You were absolutely stunning. You were a queen! You became world-famous, a legendary beauty brought to perfection by my adornments. Decree of God, the Master.
But your beauty went to your head and you became a common whore, grabbing anyone coming down the street and taking him into your bed. You took your fine dresses and made “tents” of them, using them as brothels in which you practiced your trade. This kind of thing should never happen, never.
And then you took all that fine jewelry I gave you, my gold and my silver, and made pornographic images of them for your brothels. You decorated your beds with fashionable silks and cottons, and perfumed them with my aromatic oils and incense. And then you set out the wonderful foods I provided—the fresh breads and fruits, with fine herbs and spices, which were my gifts to you—and you served them as delicacies in your whorehouses. That’s what happened, says God, the Master.
And then you took your sons and your daughters, whom you had given birth to as my children, and you killed them, sacrificing them to idols. Wasn’t it bad enough that you had become a whore? And now you’re a murderer, killing my children and sacrificing them to idols.
Not once during these years of outrageous obscenities and whorings did you remember your infancy, when you were naked and exposed, a blood-smeared newborn.”—Ezekiel 16:1-22
I didn’t plan on using these scriptures in the series, but God did. Let me just tell you that these next couple of chapters are not going to be a “feel good/cakewalk” study. If you are not serious about being delivered from your past, if denial is still your junkie drug of choice, if you would rather stay wallowing in the filth of your habits, then it’s not time for you to read this because—-and clearly hear me when I say this—-WE (MYSELF INCLUDED) WILL BE HELD TOTALLY ACCOUNTABLE FOR WHAT THE LORD SHARES.
However, if you are willing to tough it out with a humble spirit (I Peter 5:6) and willing mind (Isaiah 1:9), as sure as I’m sitting here and typing this, I know that God will break some ties of bondage and restore you (Joel 2:23-25) in a very intimate and specific (as it directly relates to you) kind of way. That’s one of the main things I love about God. When he tells us that he knows the thoughts and plans that he has for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11), the blueprint is custom-designed just for us.
I stand here in total faith (Hebrews 11:6) believing that this is the moment when you can claim the very deepest parts of your heart’s desire. If it doesn’t disrespect God’s principles (because he will not give you anything that breaks his laws or interferes with your purpose—James 4:2-3), you can be sure that in his timing, it will come to pass; if you are willing to write and see the vision (an experience in which a personage, thing, or event appears vividly or credibly to the mind, although not actually present, often under the influence of a divine or other agency) and then wait for it (Habakkuk 2:2-3).
This isn’t about what your family members think you should be doing with your life. They have their own life to be concerned with; if they read the Word, then they need to stand in faith that if they “train a child up”, you will be fine (Proverbs 22:6). This isn’t about what your friends think is best. They are human, humans make mistakes and we serve a God who sticks closer than any brother, anyway (Proverbs 18:24). This isn’t about keeping up with the Oprah Winfreys and Bill Gates of this world. This is about getting to the root of who and whose you are so that the weeds which are choking the life out of your dreams can be removed and the good seed that needs to be nourished will take its place; not planted on stony ground (mistakes from your past, bitterness, envy, fear, arrogance, which is nothing more than false humility, desperation, compromise, tolerated abuse, etc), but in fertile soil.
So with that said, let’s hit it.
I’ve always been drawn to these verses, even before I was mature enough to fully understand them. Although God is speaking to a city, please believe that he chose to use a woman as a symbol for a reason. It’s so we can see in plain view just how hurt he is when anything or anyone that he creates betrays him. That’s not just Jerusalem or even America for that matter (don’t get me started), but that’s many of us as well.
I love that this story begins with an unequally-yoked union (2 Corinthians 6:14). Ezekiel 16:3 says that “her” ancestors were Canaanites (and who did they come from? Cain, the first murderer recorded), her father was an Amorite and her mother was a Hittite. Now, we already know that Hittites were off the chain from reading about Solomon (I Kings 11:1-2). And, as I did a brief study on Amorites, it appears that they were tribal clansmen who forced their way into various other tribes. Together, they created Jerusalem, “the woman” or Renee (reborn) as I will now refer to this city as for the duration of the study.
So let’s stop right there for a moment. If you are sexually active and God has been merciful enough to guard your womb to protect you from pregnancy, you need to stop right now, repent of your ways (Acts 3:19) and commit to a life of abstinence until you are married. While judgment indeed came upon Renee, judgment is also sure for her parents, should they not repent because they united in a way that was spiritually immature and irresponsible as well as carnally selfish.
There are so many of us who are suffering right now and it’s a direct result of our unequally yoked bloodline. My mother asked me this time last year why I was so inquisitive about my family history. She definitely is less of a “hunter” than I am. Well, although I didn’t know how to fully articulate it at the time, it was because of this story. I want to know where I come from. I want to know why I have an addictive personality. I want to know why, for years, suicide and fornication were the demons I fought. I want to know why I am so irresponsible with my finances. I want to know why I’ve had four abortions when my mother is extremely pro-life. I want to know why most of the members of my family are remarried and why very few are happily married to their original partners. I want to know why there are so many substance abusers on both sides. I want to know why so many of us are comfortable not having an intimate relationship with one another (I have family members I haven’t seen since I was a child and I don’t know if I’ve ever been to a family reunion). I want to know the source of our dysfunction because, while I know that I am a living testament to “all things working together for good” (Romans 8:28), because I now am aware of the history of my parents, I also know and accept the fact that when they married, at the very least, spiritually, they were unequally yoked. When light has intimate fellowship with darkness, shadows are cast onto their bloodline. This is what generational curses are all about.
So let me say this: If you are a parent who, for whatever reason, united with someone whom you know was not God’s perfect will for your life and a child was birthed out of that relationship, repent, repent, repent to God, to that other person and to your child! Not just for your sake, but for the sake of your children’s lives and the children that they will birth in the future. Yes, all children, no matter how they came to be are a blessing, but when you disobey, this doesn’t totally absolve you of your consequences. Remember God says that he will not be mocked and what you sow you will reap (Galatians 6:7). His Word also goes on to say that he who sows to the flesh will reap corruption (Galatians 6:8).
Getting “illegitimately” pregnant and going to term doesn’t absolve you of these consequences.
Marrying someone because you feel guilty about “settin’ it out” before marriage doesn’t absolve you of these consequences.
Going to church while treating the children you didn’t physically plan for like you don’t emotionally want them doesn’t absolve you of these consequences.
Taking care of everyone else’s personal lives other than your own to make you feel good about yourself doesn’t absolve you of these consequences.
Saying you’re sorry only to turn around and commit the same sins over and over (and over) again doesn’t absolve you of these consequences.
Some of you are arrogant enough uncover your own children and their issues, without having enough spiritual discernment to realize that they are simply God’s Word in the flesh being manifested. You got a daughter who’s promiscuous? Who did you unite yourself with in creating her? That’s not her fault, that’s yours. You have a son who is living a consistent life of compromise? Who did you unite with in creating him? That’s not his fault, that’s yours.
Yes, all children will have to come to a place when they will have to give God and account for all that they have done (Ezekiel 18). But, when God said that we should be cautious in becoming teachers (and all parents are teachers) because we will receive stricter judgment (James 3:1), remember we serve a God who does not lie (Titus 1:2) and judgment is sure and approaching (2 Corinthians 5:10).
So, for all of my single-non-children having people reading this, no matter what, count yourself very blessed. God, in his infinite love and mercy has prevented you from having children at this time because he knows you are not ready for the judgment that would come with taking on such a responsibility. If there is no other reason to be abstinent, staying away from stricter judgment should be enough. And, for all of the friends who became parents—whether in or out of season—-don’t let your pride (Proverbs 16:18) keep you from going boldly before the throne of grace to obtain mercy (Hebrews 4:16). You’re gonna need it to get through some of the consequences of your choices.
With that said, I believe that is why God has such a compassionate heart towards Renee. From day one, her little life was put on the battlefield of intense spiritual warfare based on her parents’ choices. Even in the midst of her generationally-cursed struggle, he saw her pain and spoke life into her. In verse 6, it doesn’t say that he told her to merely exist. No, he told her to live! He knows that when we do this, as a result, abundant life comes to be (John 10:10). When God spoke that word into her, as with the words that he spoke during creation, despite the way Renee came into the world, his hedge of protection (Job 1:10) was with her and she grew and matured.
Verse 8 goes on to say that at the right time and in the right season, God saw that Renee was ready for love and so he covered her nakedness and made a covenant (the conditional promises made to humanity by God, as revealed in Scripture) with her.
Ladies, listen to me when I say this: I don’t care how much you beg, barter or plead. I don’t care how much time you spend in church or giving to the needy. I don’t care how often you are in the gym or how many Stilettos you rock. I don’t care how much you whine about your biological clock and hormones. I don’t care how many of your other friends are getting married or how many suitcases of bridesmaid dresses that you have. Until you make a covenant with God, if you want to be married within HIS WILL (now if you don’t that’s a whole ‘nother matter entirely), you will not be married.
I was just talking to one of my favorite married friends on yesterday and she was telling me about how she and one of her single friends were discussing some of the rules of my married friend’s home. One of the issues is that she gets an allowance every week and her single friend (initially) didn’t get that. Without getting into all of the logistics, I told my friend (who didn’t need me to tell her because she was already at peace, mind you), “Girl, it’s working for you and that’s really what matters.”
Unless you have the spirit of Paul (and flesh and blood cannot reveal that to you; the spirit must be tested—I John 4:1), single people, stay out of married people’s lives. You are single and so you can only offer a limited amount of insight beyond what the Word says. So many of us are walking around with knowledge, but we are lacking in wisdom and understanding (Proverbs 4:5) and so we are not bringing anything harmonious to the table; just a bunch of noise.
Should married people be held accountable just like everyone else? Most definitely. But remember, we as women are called to have a gentle and quiet spirit (I Peter 3:4). If you are spending time in the Word, your spirit man will have matured to a place where you are not placing a single (one in number, unmarried) perspective on a marital union. When two people become one flesh in marriage, that is something that God does and so he will provide them with the insight to make their marriage work and last.
And, while his principles will never change (all couples must abstain from adultery, all wives must submit to their husbands, all husbands must love their wives as Christ loved the Church), preferences will. You can best believe that what Adam and Eve needed to make their unit work efficiently was probably not the same as what made Boaz and Ruth or King Xerxes and Queen Esther tick. Why? Because they were all different people, in different scenarios, at different times and most importantly, UNITED FOR DIFFERENT PURPOSES.
Single sistahs, you can’t see why a man should have “your money”? You are looking from a “one in number/unmarried” perspective. You don’t get how offering your body as a living sacrifice when you ain’t initially in the mood isn’t short of having “Celie Sex” (you have seen The Color Purple, right?)? You are looking from a “one in number/unmarried” perspective. You don’t know why any woman who leave Corporate America to take care of her home and children? You are looking from a “one in number/unmarried” perspective.
See, when you become married, something miraculous happens; not just in the flesh, but in the spirit as well. You don’t just see, you have vision….not just for you, but your husband, your children and the generations that will follow. There are some “most holy” things that God gives a marital union that simply do not apply to singles so, from where you sit, it ain’t supposed to make sense. YOU AIN’T MARRIED. However, when you speak out of season, due to your arrogance and/or ignorance, you are still held accountable for that. Proverbs 21:23 says that whoever guards his tongue and mouth shall keep his soul from trouble and James 1:26 says that if anyone thinks he is religious but doesn’t bridle his tongue, he deceives his own heart and his religion is useless. You wanna keep your soul at peace and your heart guarded (Proverbs 4:23) during this time of singleness? KEEP YOUR MOUTH OFF OF PEOPLE’S MARRIAGES.
Now, let me say this before I proceed. Some of you married folk know you had no business getting married in the first place and so if you are spiritually immature, sometimes God will place a single person who has more spiritual discernment to speak into your life (again, Paul wrote a majority of the New Testament and definitely the part that deals with marriage). But single ambassadors, God gives words in due season. God and his timing are perfect (Acts 1:7-Message) and so if he places you in that position, it will be at time when it’s not about what you think (who cares what you think?). It will be because it is what “thus sayeth the Lord” and when peace can be found within the message (I Corinthians 14:33).
So when God makes a covenant with a single woman (Ezekiel 16:9), something beautiful happens. He washes us in his water—a process that enters us into his kingdom (John 3:5). Ladies, for your covenant with God to be effective, you must be baptized and to be honest, some of us should be re-baptized. Sure this process is a Christian rite of baptism, but it’s also about cleansing oneself spiritually and dedicating our lives to purity.
It says next that he washed all of the blood off of Renee. One definition of “blood” is “temperament; a state of mind”. I once heard a pastor say that when you are born again, the effects of your generational curses even change because you are not of the same blood line anymore. When you make covenant with God, there’s no way that your mind, body or spirit can remain the same. Suddenly, you begin to see the one who abused you as a hurting, broken human being in need of the same grace and mercy that has been extended to you. Suddenly, you begin to understand that your senior year in high school abortion was not a remedy, but a demonic stronghold designed by the Enemy to keep you bound for years to come. Suddenly, you begin to understand that being preoccupied with getting a man more than having God is a form of emotional whoredom. Simply put, you see things from a different state of mind once God cleans the “old blood” off of you.
Then, he anoints you with oil. All of us are gifted in one way or another, but until we are anointed by God, our gifts have no real, godly, authentic power. Amusing a man is not deep; anyone can do that. What we should desire to do is change their lives; that is a very mind-boggling, spirit-filled thing. This is what God’s anointing will do. Unfortunately far too many women are concerned with looking right and putting it down in the bedroom thinking that will keep a man. That may amuse him (for a season), but it’s the anointing that will change his life and the way that he lives it for the better. It’s also the anointing, during the time of your singleness, that will protect you from harm.
I John 2:20 says:
“But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.” (NKJV)
I John 2:24-26 tells us:
“Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life. These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.” (NKJV)
When God makes a covenant with you, he also “chooses you by divine intervention” for a certain purpose. You cannot know this without knowing him. So many of us are still wondering what we should do with our lives and who we should do it with and it’s because we are cute, we are successful, we are gifted, but we are not anointed.
And the final thing that he does is clothe your nakedness. Remember what happened in the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve sinned? It says in Genesis 3:10 that Adam told God that he was naked and so he hid. Remember, it says in Genesis 2:25 that initially, Adam and Eve (well, at that time, Adam and Woman) were naked and not ashamed. Even back then, God’s Word was true. Again, light and darkness cannot be in fellowship with one another (John 12:46) and so when you are sinning—in or out of the bedroom—-you are naked. In other words, you are “bare”, “stripped” and “destitute”; you are “defenseless”, “unprotected” and “exposed”; you are “plain”, “simple” and “unadorned”. But more than anything, you are “unarmed”.
Ephesians 6:14-18 says:
“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints…”(NKJV)
You wanna know why there are so many video hoes on television? You wanna know why millions of babies are aborted every year? You wanna know why so many ladies protect their womb from flesh violation and not their mouths? You wanna know why so many ladies get married prematurely? You wanna know why the Halle Berrys of the world are just as broken as the Kims that go to your church? You wanna know why so many men with religious authority are involved with Second Timothy women? You wanna know why so many sistahs don’t think they are attractive unless they have their breasts or butt in plain view? You wanna know why so many ladies find shacking to be an acceptable compromise? You wanna know why the same girl who had an unplanned pregnancy last year is pregnant again this year? You wanna know why women find a relationship with a triflin’ man to be more vital than maintaining godly sisterhood?
It’s because they are in sin, they are naked and they are unarmed.
However, once you enter into a covenant with God, you are clothed in his light. His love covers a multitude of sins (I Peter 4:8) because God is love (I John 4:7-8). The best part is that regardless of your past sins, you are free from guilt because entering into a love covenant with God removes you from condemnation (Romans 8:1).
Once these steps take place, then he begins to pamper you. Suddenly, you are getting bonuses on your job so that you can purchase that little dress you’ve been eyeing. You receive a notice in the mail that your favorite shoe store is having a seasonal clearance sale. Out of nowhere, someone blesses you with a free plane ticket so that you can take a three-day vacation. Now people are giving you pieces of jewelry (I promise you I don’t know where people got the idea that God has a problem with adorning yourself—moving on), and when you go to Kroger’s your Plus Card gets you double what you allotted in your budget.
A lot of us are wondering why we are not yet married and it’s because we are skipping a very necessary step. We have not entered into a covenant with God, first and God doesn’t let you skip a grade just because you refuse to learn in a class that you don’t particularly care for.
Just as your earthly father (if he does his job right) is to set a standard of what you should expect in a man, this is what your Heavenly Father strives to do as well. If man was made in God’s image and marriage is a godly union, don’t you think God wants you to be pampered by your husband in the same way that he pampers you? When God hands you over to be in a man’s (earthly) care, it’s not supposed to be a downgrade. God is not going to tell one of his sons, “Here is my daughter. I have bathed her and clothed her. I have given her the best in food and jewelry. I have made her beautiful. Now go and figure out how to take it from here.”
Uh-uh. God, through his Word, has set a standard of what his daughters deserve in a mate and when he places you in the hands of leadership, he expects that man to honor it. However, without spending intimate time with God, none of us would know that. And a lot of us are in foolishness now for the exact reason.
Verse 14 goes on to say that it was because of God’s glory that Renee was made beautiful (extraordinary; incredible). She had absolutely nothing to do with it. Just a few weeks ago, I was telling one of my physically-stunning friends that she needed to stop giving false compliments to people as a way to detract from the way she looked. “You had nothing to do with it so you have nothing to feel bad about,” I said. “That was God and genetics. You can’t take the credit for either.”
We will stop here for today, but hear me when I say this: A woman who is naked due to sin is not beautiful. She may be pleasing to the eye. She may be attractive to someone who is spiritually broken and immature. She may even be really cute. But to be truly beautiful, God’s glory must be present.
I shared the scriptures of what happened to Renee when she trusted in her beauty (the creation) more than God (the creator—Romans 1:25) because I want you to meditate on these words in preparation for the next chapter.
But in the meantime, here is your homework for today: GET IN COVENANT WITH GOD. If you need to be baptized, do it. If you need to change your state of mind, do it. If you need to get anointed, do it. If you have been cloaked in darkness and you need to step into God’s light, do it. You cannot have a godly covenant with a man before having one with God.
And then find a married couple within the next seven days and bless them. It may be a free babysitting night. It may be a dinner gift certificate on you. Or it may just be a simple card of encouragement or apology for when you spoke out of season in the past.
Remember, we are pulling up weeds here so that we can plant good seed into good ground. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it in the end…when we receive the harvest as the result of our obedience!
©Shellie R. Warren/2006