Ezekiel 16:44–63 (NKJV)
44 “Indeed everyone who quotes proverbs will use this proverb against you: ‘Like mother, like daughter!’ 45 You are your mother’s daughter, loathing husband and children; and you are the sister of your sisters, who loathed their husbands and children; your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite.
46 “Your elder sister is Samaria, who dwells with her daughters to the north of you; and your younger sister, who dwells to the south of you, is Sodom and her daughters. 47 You did not walk in their ways nor act according to their abominations; but, as if that were too little, you became more corrupt than they in all your ways.
Here, the Lord declares Israel (Jerusalem) to be part of a den of harlots, including Samaria and Sodom. However, He says that Israel is worse than all the others.
48 “As I live,” says the Lord God, “neither your sister Sodom nor her daughters have done as you and your daughters have done. 49 Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. 50 And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit.
51 “Samaria did not commit half of your sins; but you have multiplied your abominations more than they, and have justified your sisters by all the abominations which you have done. 52 You who judged your sisters, bear your own shame also, because the sins which you committed were more abominable than theirs; they are more righteous than you. Yes, be disgraced also, and bear your own shame, because you justified your sisters.
The Lord additionally lifts up the sins of Samaria and Sodom, but also points out that they were righteous compared to Israel. Israel is disgraced far beyond the sinfulness of her sisters.
53 “When I bring back their captives, the captives of Sodom and her daughters, and the captives of Samaria and her daughters, then I will also bring back the captives of your captivity among them, 54 that you may bear your own shame and be disgraced by all that you did when you comforted them. 55 When your sisters, Sodom and her daughters, return to their former state, and Samaria and her daughters return to their former state, then you and your daughters will return to your former state. 56 For your sister Sodom was not a byword in your mouth in the days of your pride, 57 before your wickedness was uncovered. It was like the time of the reproach of the daughters of Syria and all those around her, and of the daughters of the Philistines, who despise you everywhere. 58 You have paid for your lewdness and your abominations,” says the Lord. 59 For thus says the Lord God: “I will deal with you as you have done, who despised the oath by breaking the covenant.
When Sodom and Samaria are brought back from captivity, Israel will be brought back as well. Israel suffers for her sins, and has broken the covenant with the Lord.
60 “Nevertheless I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you. 61 Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed, when you receive your older and your younger sisters; for I will give them to you for daughters, but not because of My covenant with you. 62 And I will establish My covenant with you. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, 63 that you may remember and be ashamed, and never open your mouth anymore because of your shame, when I provide you an atonement for all you have done,” says the Lord God.’ ”
The Lord makes a promise of a new covenant. Israel forgot the covenant of her youth, but the Lord would give her her sisters as daughters, and establish a covenant with her that will require her to never open her mouth against because of her sin. The atonement for her sins is provided by God.
When an individual sins, especially a long-term pattern of sin, and God reaches out with grace, it is a wonderful and undeserved thing. God is not obligated by a man to forgive, but obligates Himself when a man or woman asks for grace. However, grace comes when humility is the stance of the penitent. Forgiveness comes to the humble. Salvation comes to he or she who bows himself or herself in the presence of the Lord. Pride and arrogance stand in the way of restoration. Humility moves the heart of God. Humble yourself and be whole!