Baal and Ashtoreth -1
Judges 6: 25 “And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father’s young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it:”
At this stage in Gideon’s encounter with God, he seems finally set to obey God by accepting to fight Midian in order to set his people free. He has built confidence in God and in his own ability and was ready to launch out, but God appeared to him in the night to give him one last instruction
God didn’t allow him launch out without putting certain things in place. God told him to “…throw down the altar of Baal…and cut down the grove”.
Two things he must do: One, he must destroy the altar of Baal and cut down the grove.
The Hebrew word Baal, means lord, master and married among others, while “the grove” as used here refers to Ashtoreth
Baal happens to be a Phoenician god that the Israelites worshipped. The grove which means Ashtoreth is a Phoenician goddess of love and increase.
The origin of the problem of the Israelites happened to be idolatry. They have been mastered by another “lord” called Baal and Ashtoreth, a goddess which promised them increase. They built an altar for Baal and enthroned Ashtoreth on it.
These two deities were the strongholds that created a hole for the enemy to enter into their lives and enslaved them. The Israelites completely forgot the first commandment
Exodus 20:3 “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
Exodus 20:4 “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:”
God didn’t say that as a one-off thing he reminded them again:
Exodus 34:13 “But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves:”
To be continued…
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