Ezekiel 22:1–16 (NKJV)
22:1 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Now, son of man, will you judge, will you judge the bloody city? Yes, show her all her abominations! 3 Then say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “The city sheds blood in her own midst, that her time may come; and she makes idols within herself to defile herself. 4 You have become guilty by the blood which you have shed, and have defiled yourself with the idols which you have made. You have caused your days to draw near, and have come to the end of your years; therefore I have made you a reproach to the nations, and a mockery to all countries. 5 Those near and those far from you will mock you as infamous and full of tumult.
6 “Look, the princes of Israel: each one has used his power to shed blood in you. 7 In you they have made light of father and mother; in your midst they have oppressed the stranger; in you they have mistreated the fatherless and the widow. 8 You have despised My holy things and profaned My Sabbaths. 9 In you are men who slander to cause bloodshed; in you are those who eat on the mountains; in your midst they commit lewdness. 10 In you men uncover their fathers’ nakedness; in you they violate women who are set apart during their impurity. 11 One commits abomination with his neighbor’s wife; another lewdly defiles his daughter-in-law; and another in you violates his sister, his father’s daughter. 12 In you they take bribes to shed blood; you take usury and increase; you have made profit from your neighbors by extortion, and have forgotten Me,” says the Lord God.
13 “Behold, therefore, I beat My fists at the dishonest profit which you have made, and at the bloodshed which has been in your midst. 14 Can your heart endure, or can your hands remain strong, in the days when I shall deal with you? I, the Lord, have spoken, and will do it. 15 I will scatter you among the nations, disperse you throughout the countries, and remove your filthiness completely from you. 16 You shall defile yourself in the sight of the nations; then you shall know that I am the Lord.” ’ ”
The Lord begins this prophetic discourse by calling out Jerusalem as a woman who has defiled herself with false gods and by shedding blood. These actions will bring judment upon her and she will be a reproach and a mockery. The Lord then moves to an indictment of her princes, her leaders, who have also shed blood, but have also disrespected their parents, oppressed strangers, and mistreated orphans and widows. They also condone incest and adultery, bribery, extortion, and unholy business practices. This city and nation is a sinful mess!
What does this mean for us today? God will judge sinful practices and scatter the inheritance of sinners to the far corners of the earth. When people live sinfully, serve idols, and commit sexual perversions, they will not prosper, and may not survive. In the end, you must obey. Disobedience never pays. You must obey!