Old Testament reading: Ezekiel 23
Sometimes we don’t think of the Bible as speaking in terms that many would find “unsuitable for mixed company.” I think our reading of the Song of Solomon helps to dispel some of that thinking, but today’s reading is even more graphic. Ezekiel 23 condemns the apostasy of Israel and Judah in one of the most explicit depictions in all of Scripture. The two nations of God’s people are described as two sexually immoral sisters. Oholah means “her own tent” and is Samaria, the capital of Israel. Oholibah means “My tabernacle is in her” and is Jerusalem, the capital of Judah wherein the tabernacle and temple of God dwelled. The rendering of “virgin bosom” in verses 3 and 8 is quite tame in light of the original text. Only the Holman Christian Standard and the New English Translation (NET Bible) give the more explicit rendering. Verse 20 is another sexually explicit text and I will not explain it here. You can do your own research of “whose issue is like the issue of horses” by reading Genesis 38:8-9. The whole point is this, in our politically correct, avoid offending at all cost society, there is a time to call things as they really are. But we must also remember that this condemnation and judgment came only after repeated, loving pleas for repentance.
New Testament reading: Acts 9-10
“Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away” (2 Cor 3:16). Paul wrote these words by inspiration, but he was also a living example of the same. As we begin Acts 9, we find Saul (Paul) “breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord” and on his way to Damascus to imprison Christians, both men and women. Before the chapter ends, a span of only a few days, we find Paul preaching the faith he once tried to destroy (cf Gal 1:23). What had changed? Was there some new revelation of Scripture that Paul received? No. He simply (but not easily!) realized that the Scriptures he purported to defend were the very ones that pointed people to Jesus! In this sense, the veil was taken away from his blinded heart (2 Cor 3:14-15), and Paul preached in Damascus what he had originally intended to bring to a halt. When one believes the truth about Jesus, it helps remove and prevent believing error elsewhere.