The picture of the Lord's dealings with Israel is also a prophetic picture of the church, His bride in the last days. It speaks of His love for the bride, the growing up and maturing of the bride and the emerging beauty of the bride.
In its external form, the story is addressed to Jerusalem (verse 2), and it is told as if it were the first part of an address delivered in court. In the opening verses, it tells of love; only later do we see that the love was spurned and so we begin to sense that the words are addressed to a court as if in the proceedings of a divorce suit.
The story is a simple one. A girl-child was born to parents of mixed ethnic background in the land of Canaan, but the child was not wanted and was not loved. Instead of the usual cleansing and care normally afforded to the newborn, this child was left to die. Still stained with the blood of birth, the navel string uncut, the child was abandoned in the countryside, a practice which, tragically, was not uncommon in various parts of the ancient Near East.
But a passer-by saw the child on the verge of death; in the story, the passer-by is none other than God himself, though in the original story, it would have been a young man, or prince. Moved by love, he would not let her die. He commands her to “Live” (verse 6), a word which brings with it the provision and power of living. And so the unloved and unwanted child, with the full provision of the prince (implied, but not specified), begins to grow and comes to full maturity. And then, many years later, the prince comes by again, to see the one for whom he has made provision over many years. When first he had seen her, he was moved by that kind of love which is compassion and pity; now, as he sees her in maturity and beauty, he loves her in a different way. The two are married (the word covenant, in verse 8, is used of marriage contracts, as well as of the covenant religion of Israel). And where, on the first encounter, the prince had made provision for the child’s survival, now on the second encounter, he richly provides her with the gifts of a bride. The foundling child, dying in a field, has become a beautiful queen, famous throughout all the world for her beauty.
The Pentecostal-Charismatic movement grew from its humble Azusa Street beginnings in 1906 into a beautiful bride and its beauty become known throughout the world.
Craigie, P. C. 2001, c1983. Ezekiel. The Daily study Bible series (108). Westminster John Knox Press: Louisville
LOVE GONE ASTRAY v15-34
The downward slide of the bride begins to surface. She becomes a prostitute. Once her beauty emerged and she became known throughout the world, pride and lust entered. Her character changed. He becomes a prostitute. Her tragic downward spiral begins here.
Similarly, the charismatic movement became known throughout the world. Then the change in character came through the Word-faith Prosperity movement. She had many lovers. She embraced the world. Success and prosperity became preeminent. The flesh manifested more and more. The Bridegroom become more distant and grieved by her change. Her character changed. She forgot her youth. Pride crept in. She trusted in her own beauty. Down..down...down she fell. Eventually the glory of God has withdrawn completely and she does not discern it! She stooped to ridiculous lengths to satisfy her lusts. She becomes the laughingstock of the world. Yet she is blind wrt her own spiritual state.
In recent months, we see this happening more and more. Time Magazine, September 2006, a secular publication, put on its cover, the Prosperity Gospel. The world seems to be questioning this - is this really what Christians believe?
JUDGEMENT OF THE ADULTRESS v35-43a
After the description of the depths to which the woman in the parable sank, there follows now the first declaration of judgment. In the preceding passage, the parable and its interpretation were closely interwoven; now, though the language still refers to a fallen woman, it is the city of Jerusalem that is coming more prominently into view.
The judgment is declared in a traditional legal manner. In verse 36, the reasons for the judgment are introduced by the word because; then, in verse 37, the nature of the judgment is described, introduced by the word therefore, which directly relates the penalty to the crime. The scene that follows has the atmosphere of a court. The woman stands there, condemned of various crimes. God is both prosecutor and, in a sense, the offended party. And then all the former lovers are called; they stand around her on every side, seeing her now as she really is, publicly exposed for her licentious ways. To each, words of love had been whispered, but the hollowness of those words echoes from the multitude of so-called lovers assembled in the court. And the lovers perceive that each had been played off against the other by this faithless partner, and all had indulged in their evil activities to the affront of the true husband. The evidence of the court is so overwhelming that “Guilty” can be the only verdict, and in accord with ancient Hebrew law, the woman is condemned to death by stoning (verse 40). Her possessions are to be removed and her properties destroyed.
The woman, during the course of the trial, is stripped of clothing and jewelry by the assembled witnesses and left “naked and bare” (verse 39). She is reduced, in other words, to the same sorry state as that in which she was found at birth by a passing stranger.
It seems that the judgment will come in the coming storm [latter rain] - the great tsunami. As the storm and hail comes, she will be stripped of her clothing like the whitewashed wall, and will be stoned by God.
Craigie, P. C. 2001, c1983. Ezekiel. The Daily study Bible series (115). Westminster John Knox Press: Louisville
A SINNER WORSE THAN SISTER SODOM v43b-52
The spiritual state of the Bride is compared to that of her sisters. One of the prominent sins of the Denominations and the Historic churches is the acceptance of homosexuals into the ministry. The sins and spiritual state of the Denominations and Historic churches pale in comparison with the state of the present Charismatic church!
THE COVENANT RELATIONSHIP RESTORED v53-63
A change comes. Judgment changes to grace. A remnant remains - His true Bride. As the Charismatic church descended on its downward path, many were called out of the church into the wilderness by God. A generation of believers entered the wilderness of God some twenty to thirty years ago.
THE BRIDE COMING FORTH OUT OF THE WILDERNESS
Song of Solomon 3: 6-11 Who is this coming out of the wilderness
Like pillars of smoke,
Perfumed with myrrh and frankincense,
With all the merchant's fragrant powders?(v6)
The wedding procession comes forth from the wilderness - a glorious Bride with her Beloved. This is the mystery of the end-time church and of the restoration of the true apostolic movement that He has raised up for the final hour.
NOTE: All true born-again Christians throughout the church age from Pentecost form the bride of Christ. The above analogy illustrates and brings forth truth concerning the church in the last of the last days...