S3EP14 - Prostitution

Hello and welcome to season 3 episode 14 of The Berean Manifesto, 10 minutes or so a week of Faith, Hope, and Love for the modern Christian. This is Pastor Newms, still filling in for Pastor Bill (hopefully for not much longer) we need to continue to lift him up in prayers as he heals and learns to talk again.  In this installment we are going to be talking about prostitution, but not in the way you probably think, after all Pastor Bill wrote this one not me.

We’re going to start off with a passage from Ezekiel 23, but fair warning after last weeks refresher of the Berean Lifestyle and encouragement to own your weekly study of the scriptures this episode might take some leg work for you to get the full amount out of it. Ezekiel 23:1-21 CSB, “[1] The word of the Lord came to me again: [2] “Son of man, there were two women, daughters of the same mother, [3] who acted like prostitutes in Egypt, behaving promiscuously in their youth. Their breasts were fondled there, and their virgin nipples caressed. [4] The older one was named Oholah, and her sister was Oholibah. They became mine and gave birth to sons and daughters. As for their names, Oholah represents Samaria and Oholibah represents Jerusalem. [5] “Oholah acted like a prostitute even though she was mine. She lusted after her lovers, the Assyrians: warriors [6] dressed in blue, governors and prefects, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding on steeds. [7] She offered her sexual favors to them; all of them were the elite of Assyria. She defiled herself with all those she lusted after and with all their idols. [8] She didn’t give up her promiscuity that began in Egypt, when men slept with her in her youth, caressed her virgin nipples, and poured out their lust on her. [9] Therefore, I handed her over to her lovers, the Assyrians she lusted for. [10] They exposed her nakedness, seized her sons and daughters, and killed her with the sword. Since they executed judgment against her, she became notorious among women. [11] “Now her sister Oholibah saw this, but she was even more depraved in her lust than Oholah, and made her promiscuous acts worse than those of her sister. [12] She lusted after the Assyrians: governors and prefects, warriors splendidly dressed, horsemen riding on steeds, all of them desirable young men. [13] And I saw that she had defiled herself; both of them had taken the same path. [14] But she increased her promiscuity when she saw male figures carved on the wall, images of the Chaldeans, engraved in bright red, [15] wearing belts on their waists and flowing turbans on their heads; all of them looked like officers, a depiction of the Babylonians in Chaldea, their native land. [16] At the sight of them she lusted after them and sent messengers to them in Chaldea. [17] Then the Babylonians came to her, to the bed of love, and defiled her with their lust. But after she was defiled by them, she turned away from them in disgust. [18] When she flaunted her promiscuity and exposed her nakedness, I turned away from her in disgust just as I turned away from her sister. [19] Yet she multiplied her acts of promiscuity, remembering the days of her youth when she acted like a prostitute in the land of Egypt [20] and lusted after their lovers, whose sexual members[d] were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of stallions. [21] So you revisited the depravity of your youth, when the Egyptians caressed your nipples to enjoy your youthful breasts.”

God tells Ezekiel this story where He’s actually talking about the peoples of Samaria and Jerusalem. Most of you within the reach of this message are familiar with how the children of Israel grumbled in the desert and longed to go back into slavery in Egypt as they had in their youth. And generations later after they were past the desert and delivered into the promised land they split into the two peoples of Samaria and Jerusalem and ultimately lost sight of the Lord and fell into what God likened to promiscuity. Which in many ways it was because of the practices of those other religions and the fact that they "cheated" on God with others; all the gods around them.

Now were going to look at some excerpts from Ezekiel 16 just to get a better picture at what God is saying and then we’ll go back into some modern relevance for ourselves.

Ezekiel 16:30-34 CSB, “[30] ‘How your heart was inflamed with lust — the declaration of the Lord God — when you did all these things, the acts of a brazen prostitute, [31] building your mound at the head of every street and making your elevated place in every square. But you were unlike a prostitute because you scorned payment. [32] You adulterous wife, who receives strangers instead of her husband! [33] Men give gifts to all prostitutes, but you gave gifts to all your lovers. You bribed them to come to you from all around for your sexual favors. [34] So you were the opposite of other women in your acts of prostitution; no one solicited you. When you paid a fee instead of one being paid to you, you were the opposite.

Ezekiel 16:44-47 CSB, “[44] ‘Look, everyone who uses proverbs will quote this proverb about you: “Like mother, like daughter.” [45] You are the daughter of your mother, who despised her husband and children. You are the sister of your sisters, who despised their husbands and children. Your mother was a Hetite and your father an Amorite. [46] Your older sister was Samaria, who lived with her daughters to the north of you, and your younger sister was Sodom, who lived with her daughters to the south of you. [47] Didn’t you walk in their ways and do their detestable practices? It was only a short time before all your ways were more corrupt than theirs.

Ezekiel 16:48-52 CSB, “[48] “ ‘As I live — the declaration of the Lord God — your sister Sodom and her daughters have not behaved as you and your daughters have. [49] Now this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters had pride, plenty of food, and comfortable security, but didn’t support the poor and needy. [50] They were haughty and did detestable acts before me, so I removed them when I saw this. [51] But Samaria did not commit even half your sins. You have multiplied your detestable practices beyond theirs and made your sisters appear righteous by all the detestable acts you have committed. [52] You must also bear your disgrace, since you have helped your sisters out. For they appear more righteous than you because of your sins, which you committed more detestably than they did. So you also, be ashamed and bear your disgrace, since you have made your sisters appear righteous.

Ezekiel 16:60-63 CSB, “[60] But I will remember the covenant I made with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish a permanent covenant with you. [61] Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed when you receive your older and younger sisters. I will give them to you as daughters, but not because of your covenant. [62] I will establish my covenant with you, and you will know that I am the Lord, [63] so that when I make atonement for all you have done, you will remember and be ashamed, and never open your mouth again because of your disgrace. This is the declaration of the Lord God.’”

God did just what He said in Ezekiel 16:63, He came and made atonement as Jesus. In Romans 6 Paul teaches us that because of that atonement we are no longer slaves to sin and death, similar to how the children of Israel were no longer slaves in Egypt. Galatians 5:1-6 CSB says, “[1] For freedom, Christ set us free. Stand firm then and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery. [2] Take note! I, Paul, am telling you that if you get yourselves circumcised, Christ will not benefit you at all. [3] Again I testify to every man who gets himself circumcised that he is obligated to do the entire law. [4] You who are trying to be justified by the law are alienated from Christ; you have fallen from grace. [5] For we eagerly await through the Spirit, by faith, the hope of righteousness. [6] For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision not uncircumcision accomplishes anything; what matters is faith working through love.”

I think Paul was much nicer about it in Galatians 5 than God was in Ezekiel 16, but I digress.

And with that this is Pastor Newms saying, “Until next time… oh and dont forget we love yall”

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