Chapter 23 of Ezekiel is an allegory of two sisters named Ohola and Oholibah. I found it very interesting that the names of these women derive from the word "tent" or "my tent" and it insinuates a place of worship. Both these women prostitute themselves and revel in their lust. They are used, abused, and defiled and they seem callous to what these men do to them. Ohola is spoken of first. Her children are taken from her, she is then shamed and then killed with a sword. Seeing how her sister is shamed and murdered, you would figure that Oholibah would learn, but on the contrary, she follows in her sister's footsteps and becomes even more depraved than her sister and took her degeneracy even further. Through the middle of the chapter God speaks to her and tells her what the consequences are because of her lewdness. Her children are impacted, her body is impacted, her mind is impacted, and ultimately her relationship with God is impacted. This is a chapter full of disgust, sadness, sorrow and death.
I want to focus on Oholibah now and what happens to her. I want to talk about what she does and how she ends up because I believe this allegory of this idolatrous nation, can help us understand what sexual immorality can lead to.
The story of Oholibah begins in verse 11. She sees her sister murdered and doesn't learn from Ohola's experience. She sees her children taken from Ohola. She sees the men strip her naked and then sees them run her through with a sword. As women, we have also seen it. We have seen the woman who is abused and returns to her abuser. The woman who committed adultery and shattered her family. The woman pursuing love in all the wrong places while neglecting her children. The woman addicted to sex and one-night stands, longing for a true relationship. We have seen it, but what do we do with what we see? Oholibah doesn't learn and maybe even thinks that what happened to her sister, won't happen to her. The problem is that she ends up fornicating with the same men that killed her sister! But look at verses 14 through 16. She sees men portrayed on a wall and lusts after them. Women, she is looking at pornography! She sees that they are handsome and virile and she craves them, she wants them, she yearns for them. Ladies! What are our eyes looking at? With books out like "50 Shades of Grey" and movies like "Magic Mike", the story of Oholibah rings clear. God abhors ANYTHING that causes us to lust, because what is lust but another form of idolatry. So Oholibah sees her pornography and lusts after these men. She goes after them and they in turn release their lusts on her. At first, she seems disgusted in herself. That is what one usually feels at the beginning of any sexual sin. At first it makes us feel dirty, but practice makes perfect and sooner than later, the conviction of the Holy Spirit is gone. Oholibah continues with her mess. She forgets that what she does impacts her children. She even gives up her children to false idols. Her entitlement is more important to her. She feels she deserves to feel free and liberated and it costs her her children. Then after all her fornicating, after all her sin, after she does all her filth, she goes to church - or in this case synagogue. She goes to worship God and doesn't find Him. She turns to booze and soon becomes depressed. What she thought was her liberation, ended up being her enslavement. The Lord let her destroy herself. He gave her what she wanted and released her to her sin. What is so sad about Oholibah is that she was His. She belonged to our Lord and acted like an unwanted orphan. She is ruined and becomes desolate. She ends up being murdered also. Ladies, this is serious. What we allow ourselves to let in, impacts us.
I know many might think what harm can a movie or a book make. I have heard plenty of times that Satan's greatest weapon is to tell people he isn't real or that sin is no big deal. This is precisely what Satan wants you to think, after all a fictional book is no big deal because it's not real. Well, pornography isn’t real, but it affects our marriages. TV drama is not real, but affects our youth. Violent video games are not real, but it affects our children. Magazine pictures are not real, but they affect our self-esteem.The list goes on and on. What we view, what we see, what we read affects our heart and mind. Jesus mentions it several times when He speaks on the inner self. If you hate in your heart, it is murder. If you lust in your heart, it is adultery. If anything replaces your love for Him, it is idolatry. If you want something that is not yours, it is coveting. What goes on in our heart and mind is excruciatingly important. So much so that it nailed Jesus to the cross.
Ladies, anyone who reads or views this kind of mess unrepentantly and calls herself a Christian is just like Oholibah. She is prostituting her mind and heart. Remember Oholibah means "my tent". What is our body and mind? It is a dwelling place of the most High. I Corinthians 6:19 says that we are not our own and our body is His temple.
"50 Shades of Grey" is a depraved romance novel that uses pain and torture as a means for arousal. Is this the equality that women have fought for? To be used and abused for the arousal of a man? Is this supposed to be romantic? Is this how Jesus loved His bride? Just because a woman wrote this book does not mean it is okay to read. And just like Oholibah, this filth impacts your mind, your children and above all your relationship with God.
Ezekiel 23 ends with this warning: "So I will put an end to lewdness in the land, that all women may take warning and not imitate you.You will suffer the penalty for your lewdness and bear the consequences of your sins of idolatry. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord. ”
Let us learn from Oholibah and not imitate her and remember that her despair spiraled out of control when she saw the images on the wall; when she had feasted her eyes on those lewd things. Let us make a covenant with our eyes (Job 31:1) and think of pure things (Philippians 4:8). The risks and the consequences are not worth it.