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Bible Study by Dena Stevens for Nov. 15, 2012
SoVaNow.com / November 14, 2012(Ezek. 23:4) “And the names of them” (the two sisters) “were Aholah the elder, and Aholibah her sister: and they were mine, and they bare sons and daughters, thus were their names Samaria is Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah.” Samaria was the capital of the northern kingdom, consisting of the 10 tribes; the largest portion of the tribes, which would later be called ‘Israel’. Jerusalem was the capital of the southern kingdom, consisting of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Both Judah and Israel belonged to God, and although they were divided, He always looked at them as a whole. ‘Aholah’ in Hebrew means ‘her own tent’, and is probably referring to the time after the kingdom divided that Jeroboam, king of the 10 northern tribes, built a house and put a couple of golden calves in it, and they started worshipping on their own because it was a long way to go to Jerusalem to worship in the Temple. ‘Aholibah’ means ‘My tabernacle is in her’. Whose tabernacle is this talking about? God’s tabernacle; the place where God dwelt with His people. What is God’s tabernacle today? It’s the many-membered body of Christ—Christians.
(Ezek. 23:5) “And Aholah (Israel; the 10 tribes) “played the harlot when she was mine, and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians Her neighbours.” They are both going to play the harlot in the end. Paul was writing to the Corinthian Christians, who he had led to Christ, and he said ‘For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.’ (2 Corin. 11:2, 3). Paul was using the example of Satan seducing Eve in the Garden of Eden as an example of how Satan has always deceived people into following him. Satan will unleash all his fiery darts on Christians in this final generation when he comes as the antichrist. As their teacher, Paul wanted to lead them, unlike Eve, to be faithful to God. This is God’s message to us as well.
(Ezek. 23:6) “Which were clothed with blue,” (dressed nice and looking good) “captains and rulers, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding upon horses.” This means that she had a stable full of lovers; she had commerce—traded with them—picking up their heathen practices. This is warning us to be very careful when we see things that seem very religious, but which do not align with the Word of God. Matthew tells us: “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matt. 7:20). In other words, when it comes to purveyors of other doctrines, we are to be ‘fruit-inspectors’.
(Ezek. 23:7) “Thus she committed her whoredoms with them,” (her idolatry) “with all them that were the chosen men of Assyria,” (that means ‘the best of the best’—nothing but the best for her) “and with all on whom she doted: with all their idols she defiled herself.”
This is speaking of the 10 tribes that went north. She couldn’t leave their little religious practices behind in Samaria. Does this sound familiar, with all the practices that have crept into the churches today? We get so involved in programs and rituals that there’s little time left to study the Word and worship our Father. How many people would attend worship services every Sunday if it consisted only of prayer and preaching? Is it because we expect to always be entertained at worship services?
(Ezek. 23:8) “Neither left she her whoredoms brought from Egypt:” (even after God brought them out of bondage; opened the sea to let them cross over on dry land; carried them through the wilderness, feeding them manna and quail in the desert, they still hung onto their idols) “for in her youth they lay with her, and they bruised the breasts of her virginity, and poured their whoredom upon her.”
How easily false teachings-traditions of men, are absorbed once the mind is exposed to it, and how hard it is to remove them. “Well, my preacher said thus and so, and it must be right if he said it.
He graduated from seminary.” Remember this well: the persons who are teaching you could have been listening to false teachings, too, and that makes them wrong.
Being sincere in what you believe, or in what you teach does not make you right. A person can be sincere, but be sincerely wrong.
Each of is responsible to learn God’s Word for ourselves, so we can discern whether a teaching is scriptural or not. Many times Jesus responded to questions from people, “Have you not read?” Christ expected people to read the Scriptures and to know what it says. Neither your preacher nor anyone else will be taking your place, or even be a witness for you when you stand before our Maker at the judgment. It’s going to be one-on-one; just you and God, and while anyone who misleads another person will have to answer for it when it’s their turn to stand before Him, you, and you alone are responsible for your own sins, and you will answer accordingly. Nobody will be there ‘lawyering’ for you.
(Ezek. 23:9) “Wherefore I have delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, upon whom she doted.” This is talking about the religious practices they picked up from everybody they came in contact with, many of them holding over to this day, practicing them and feeling very religious. Yet, the Christian church practices man’s traditions even today with Easter eggs and bunny rabbits that originated from heathen festival rights symbolic of fertility. And they do it on the very day our Lord was raised from the dead after having died for their sins. It is sad that man is not satisfied with the simple plan of salvation. They want to make something difficult out of it; adding to it, because it makes them feel so righteous when they can claim to have had a part in it. I think you can see from just these few verses we have covered in this chapter that God was not happy with His people in that day and their idolatries and He’s not happy with those who do it today.
Think about it.
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