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Recently, forty-four Sea Serpent swim team members from the YMCA of South Boston/Halifax County traveled to the Salem YMCA to participate in the PYSA Swimming Championships against 10 other YMCA…
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Bible Study by Dena Stevens for Nov. 8, 2012
SoVaNow.com / November 07, 2012Ezekiel, Chapter 23
This chapter is an analogy of two sisters; one representing Jerusalem, or the house of Judah, and the other representing Samaria; the house of Israel, the 10 tribes that went north after their return from Assyrian captivity. God is using the term ‘harlotry’ as an analogy for idolatry to teach us how He feels when His children turn from Him and embrace idols of any kind to replace Him.
This chapter is a little graphic and many preachers and teachers skip over it, and some congregations would be shocked if their preacher used this Scripture in his Sunday morning sermon. Are we better than our Father? Of course not. We have to consider the whole Word; and we must teach all of the Word, or none of it. God has a message He wants to be sure we understand, so we can experience the emotions He has, and we need to know what He’s saying so we can know how He feels about what we do. And it should be taught with no apologies because it is His Word.
(Ezek. 23:1) “The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying” (2) “Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one Mother:” That ‘mother’ is Mother Israel—the whole nation—all 12 tribes. Later, they were split into two houses, called Israel and Judah; which is referred to as ‘the splitting of the stick’. They are the two women pictured here. There’s going to be a spiritual wedding with Christ as the Bridegroom, but the bride has not been faithful. The way His children pretend to worship Him and allow little practices to slip into their worship, He is likening it to harlotry: as a woman who is unfaithful to her husband. Of course, He doesn’t like that one bit. He’s our Father, the Creator of our very soul. He’s the closest relative we have. We are His children, and it disappoints Him; it hurts Him, and He wants us to know that it does hurt Him when we turn away from Him and spurn His promises; especially after all He has done for us. He wants our love. He won’t beg for it; He won’t order it, and He won’t force us to love Him. It must be freely given to Him.
(Ezek. 23:3) “And they committed whoredoms” (unfaithfulness to God) “in Egypt;” (speaking of the captivity of Moses’ time) “they committed whoredoms in their youth: there were their breasts pressed, and there they bruised the teats of their virginity.” The analogy concerning the whoredoms of Israel is used to convey God’s feelings toward false religion; people following the instruction of some other religion instead of loving our Father.
He wants us to remain a spiritual virgin waiting for the Bridegroom, Christ, and to be faithful to him, rather than being lured into sin by Satan.
He had made an everlasting covenant with His people, in which He promised to care for them and to give them the best that life has to offer if they will love Him and follow Him exclusively.
We are under this same covenant, but it is conditional: He will keep His part of the bargain IF we keep ours. (see Exodus, chapter 20: the Ten Commandments).
Allow me to ask you this question: Do you know what was God’s plan and purpose for the descendants of Abraham? He wanted them to take Him to the world. The Israelites were to be witnesses to heathen and pagan peoples wherever they went.
He wanted them to live close to Him, and receive His blessings in such abundance that the world would see and want that for themselves, thus, they would accept the God of the Hebrews as their God, too. That’s still what He wants from us. But, for the most part, they failed to do that, but down through the generations, God has always had a faithful remnant to do His work and present Him to the world.
Thank God for that, or we would never have heard the Word, and most likely, we would all be pagans—that is, if life on earth survived that. Just imagine how much better this world would be had all the tribes been faithful to convert their neighbors to the Living God! That didn’t happen, and we are reaping the results of that today.
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