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Ezekiel 15-16, Psalm 55

Ezekiel 16 would be an obvious example of the Bible using extensive metaphor. In fact it is intentionally so. God does not intend to convey that he both adopted a biological baby girl then married her. Rather, the point of the extended imagery is to emphasize Israel’s mistreatment and abandonment by the nations on the one hand, and God’s lovingkindness on the other. The multiple metaphors allow God to drive home the depths of Israel’s lechery. Consider these words, “You also took the fine jewelry I gave you, the jewelry made of my gold and silver, and you made for yourself male idols and engaged in prostitution with them.” (Ezekiel 16:17) Like a husband that gave his wife money for food and found she turned around and gave it her lover, in similar fashion Israel has been unfaithful to God. God’s metaphors strike at the heart. That doesn’t make them untrue, or merely emotional, rather they accurately describe Israel’s evil in a way that mere description can’t accomplish. Ezekiel, as a mouthpiece of God wants us to behold God’s grace rejected and be appalled that anyone could do such a thing. To the degree we are appalled, may we turn our eyes on our own infidelity and have similar disgust.

Jeremiah Vaught