Ezekiel 16

Colleen Elisabeth Chao is an editor and author. She enjoys dark-dark chocolate, side-splitting laughter, and half-read books piled bedside. She makes her home near Boise, Idaho, with her husband Eddie, their son Jeremy, and Willow the dog. 




Ezekiel 16

Ezekiel 16

Ezekiel 16

I remember you before you were beautiful. Before you stopped people in their tracks and made jaws drop and heads turn. You, who are now the fairest of all—were once the pity of all.

You were a bloodied and abandoned newborn, left in an open field to die.



At your birth no one cried, “It’s a girl!” No one cleaned you or comforted you or nursed you. They looked at you, covered in your afterbirth and blood, and tossed you out like refuse.

But as you writhed and wailed and gasped for breath…. He walked by.

He slowed His steps, looked at you and said, “Live!” He loved you with a fierce yet tender love, an unreasonable love. A foolish love. He pulled you out of the heap of blood and briers you lay in, He wrapped you in His arms, and He gave you life.

“Live!” was the song He sang over you as He dressed your wounds and clothed you as His own daughter—as royalty. He lavished you with clothes and jewelry and food and beauty treatments as had never been seen before.

You were His bride, the apple of His eye, a queen perfect in beauty. And now you were to sing His song of life over others (so they too might live).

You loved Him back with an adoring love. Your heart beat happy with salvation and you could not stop singing His song of life.

But soon you heard the sound of your own voice over His. Oh how sweet you sang! You caught sight of your own reflection and became enamored by your beauty, your dress, your privileged position.

And you forgot.

You forgot what He looked like, what He sounded like…. what He’d saved you from.

You danced to the song of yourself. Your song deafened you to the cries of the despised and dying around you. They cried out for Life, but you offered them only yourself. (You, once ruined as they are now.)

Now the bloodied rise up and cry “Death!” and you, so consumed with self, act surprised. You resent them in their dirty desperation and point a fair finger at their misery.

How dare they not love you!

Do you not see? Can you not understand? Your own song will not do, faithless bride. Your pageantry and airs will not suffice. The dying need Life himself.

Oh that you would run back to Him, cling to Him as in those first days of love, and let Him sing His song over you—that they might hear and believe.

How will they believe if they have never heard?

You are chosen for this, beloved one. You were saved to go save. The Rescuer is slow to anger and abounding in love, not wanting any to perish but all to “Live!”

So return to your First Love. Remember what you were before He rescued you. Hide yourself in Him till your heart beats with His, till your ears are full of His voice and your eyes are alight with His love.

Then go and sing His song to the dying:


Scriptures referenced: Ezekiel 16, Ephesians 5, Jonah 4:2, 2 Peter 3:9, 1 Timothy 2:1-4, Zephaniah 3:17, Revelation 2:2-5, Romans 10:14-17