Chapter 9


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Chapter 7
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  These studies guides are designed for you to print and study at your leisure.  Learning about the special truths of God's word as they apply specifically to the widow will be an encouragement to your heart.  Please feel free to share them with others and maybe they will be a tool for you to use in small groups as well.

   If you click on the topic you want from the index below it will take you directly to that section.

Deeper Study on Idolatry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Widow for a Season Studies

Study on Idolatry

 

As we look at the verses for this study let’s consider the following points:

  1. What is idolatry and does it exist today in our society?

  2. What form does idolatry take today?

  3. What does Scripture reveal about the impact of idolatry on our relationship with God?

  4. What does God’s Word specifically say about idolatry?

 

When we consider idolatry, our initial definition may be the worship of carved images made with hands.  Let’s examine this idea from Scripture.  I want you to look beyond the stories of the idols to the heart and attitude of the people.  Look at their motivation and where they were in their relationship with God.  They all believed in God, but what did they not believe about Him?  Why were the idols so important to them? What emotions or beliefs drove them to idols?

 

Read:

Genesis 31:1-35

Exodus 32

Numbers 33:50-56

Joshua 6-7

Joshua 9

Joshua 15:63

Joshua 16:10

Joshua 17:12-13

1 Kings 11:42-1 Kings 13

2 Kings 9-10

 

I think the reason God tried to protect Israel from the nations was because to live in the land with the idol element was to desensitize them to its evil.  It began to invade the culture as one and Israel was no longer salt and light.  We are caught up in the practices of our culture’s idols in the same way.

 

How do we discern idolatry today?  Is idolatry identified by carved images, or behavior, or what we covet?

 

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1 Corinthians 8:1-13

(Verse 12) We can be found guilty of sin against Christ if we indulge with the idol worshiper even though our heart knowledge is true and undefiled. We actually encourage him to indulge with our blessing.

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1 Corinthians 6:12-20

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Philippians 3

 

 

Definition of Idolatry

  The practice of idolatry is to put our trust or source of contentment in anything outside of Christ – we must examine our hearts to find where our treasure is resting because we will worship what is the treasure of our heart and act out of it.

 

Consider these verses:

 

Matthew 6:21          Deuteronomy 28:1-15  
Isaiah 33:6 Proverbs 15:6  
Matthew 12:34-35 Luke 12:32  
Matthew 13:44 Isaiah 23:17-18  
Matthew 19:21  Colossians 2:3  
James 5:8   Job 23:12  

 

Read:

2 Kings 18-20

2 Chronicles 29-32 (reign of Hezekiah)

 

Now we will look closely at 2 Chronicles 29:1-16

 

Verse 3 – Doors of the house of the Lord

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House of the Lord (temple)

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1 Corinthians 6:19-20/ We are the temple of Christ

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Ephesians 2:19-22

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1 Corinthians 3:16-17

 

 Doors of the temple are the heart

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Matthew 12:34

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Proverbs 4:23

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Romans 13:22

The will or heart of man determines his actions.  Actions are the result of what is in the heart/will.

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Matthew 19:16-22

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Verse 4 – Brought in priests/Levites

We are the priests of our temple.

1 Peter 2:9

Hebrews 7

Revelations 21:22

 

Verse 5 – Sanctify yourselves so you can carry the filthiness (idols) out of the temple.

Sanctify – To set apart;

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1 Thessalonians 4:1-5

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John 17:17, 19

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1 Corinthians 6:11

Consecrate – To fill or be full

   It is Christ that we are to be full of and it is His work to cleanse us and prepare our hearts; it is His daily sanctification process that sets us apart and makes us holy.

 

Verse 15 – By the words of the Lord they came to cleanse the house of the Lord.

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Psalms 139:23-24/ We must determine what we are looking for!  The priests were looking for idols and tools of their practice.

 

Verse 16 – The priests went to the inner part of the house to cleanse it.  Our struggle begins here!

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Romans 7:14-25

 

Our Solution:

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Ezekiel 36:22

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Ezekiel 36:25-29

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Ezekiel 36:36b

 

Now let’s compare the parallel meanings of this passage with our own life experience.  How can we examine our own hearts before the Lord and allow Him to begin cleansing our temple as defined in 1 Corinthians 6:19?  We will look at this struggle as Paul defined it and discover how to claim victory through Christ as we honestly and humbly identify and surrender our idols to Him.

 

This examination will be a three-part process:

 

In order to expose the idols in our own hearts we must go to the Lord with a willing and honest heart attitude.  Begin by sitting down with paper and pencil and reading over Psalms 139:23-24.  Ask the Lord to begin to reveal to you all that He sees in your heart that is outside of your trust in Him and ask Him to reveal to you anything He sees that gives you emotional peace and reassurance outside of Him.  Write down everything that comes to mind.  You might need to do this in more than one session – be honest and open before the Lord.  You may be embarrassed and humbled by your list and Satan will mock you and accuse you in every step of this process.

 

Once you have established a list, the next step is to pray and meditate on God showing you why each one of the idols you have listed is important to you.  In other words, what need are they being substituted to satisfy?  What does the idol represent?  It is not the substance of the idol itself that becomes important but rather what it represents that must be uncovered.  This element may be a little harder to identify but remember that God is in your presence.  Listen to Him.  Write down what comes to mind.  The idols might represent self worth, companionship, etc.  Prayerfully try to get to the core of each one.

 

The third step in this process is to begin to think how you can substitute Christ in the place of every idol you have listed.  You have already identified what it is that the idol represents now you must ask yourself how Christ can satisfy this need in you instead.  Try to think what steps you can take to turn to Him with this need and replace your established habit.  Writing down a plan is a good way to start.

 

We must realize that Satan is using our idols to gain our worship!  We would never deliberately as believers worship Satan – but he can be unexposed in the image of our idols.  Satan desires not our eternal soul, but our eternal worship of him – this desire was exposed when he tried to take the seat of God in the heavenlies.

 

In the end Satan will bow his knee to the worship of God

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Isaiah 14:14

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Ezekiel 28:11-19

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Matthew 10:18

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Revelation 2:7-12

God is a jealous God for our worship of Him!  He just wants us to adore Him the way He adores us.

 

Paul says that our flesh resists the desire of our spirit.  This struggle is won through Christ.  Reread Ezekiel 36.  Claim the precious promise of the Lord to sprinkle clean water on our heart and remove the idols from it.  Removal of our desire for the idols of our heart is the work of Christ as we give Him permission.  I have personally found that the only way to do this is to commit that you will do it for Christ.  Every time the temptation comes to mind, you must say to yourself, “I have given this up for Christ.”  I will go to Him in the way I have determined to do and not to the idol practice.  Once we surrender in this way we should be able to gain complete victory against this.

·        2 Chronicles 3:1

·        2 Kings 18:1-7

 

Now comes the attack by the enemy.  Reread 2 Kings 18:9-chapter 19.  Here is Satan gnashing his teeth at Judah and he will gnash his teeth at you.  Claim the position that Hezekiah did in 2 Chronicles 32:7-8

 

I believe your mission of reconciliation is to share what you learn and the victory you are able to claim over time with much help from the Lord.  It is a story that you can use to lead others to Christ and relationship with Him.

 

 

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