Since the semitic word Ba’al is translated Master or Lord
and the word for king was melek (similar to Molech),
it was easy for people to think their pagan worship
was not only acceptable but that it was righteous.
“Just worshiping my Lord and King!”
When the LORD told Gideon to “tear down the altar of Baal that your father has” (Judges 6:25), the only way Gideon could muster up the courage to buck family and society was to sneak by night.
Fast forward to the famous confrontation on Mount Carmel between Elijah and the 450 prophets of Baal. “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him” (1 Kings 18:21). After Elijah’s short but heartfelt prayer, God answered with fire and then Elijah executed the 450 false prophets. The goal, Elijah said, was to “turn their hearts back to you again” (verse 37).
When Jehu became King of Israel, he invited “all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests … to a solemn assembly for Baal” (2 Kings 10:19-20).
Jehu told the worshipers “Search and see that no servants of the LORD are here with you” (verse 23). Then Jehu had them all killed and “destroyed Baal from Israel” (verse 28).
Short-lived! So in 2 Kings 17:16 Israel was doomed for captivity because they “left all the commandments of the LORD their God … and served Baal.”
The lesson from the Bible is clear: Baal and God are opposites. You can’t do what pagans do and really be serving God. Servants of God are not in their midst. Their hearts need to turn to God. They are not keeping the commandments of God.
God commands: “Take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them… that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods. I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods. Whatever I command you, be careful to do it” (Deuteronomy 12:30-32).
Truly there is nothing new under the sun worship. Most still say “So what! I’m really worshiping my Lord and King.”
What about you as you choose to live your life by the Bible? Is it the season to Baal out?
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