October 12 – The Byproduct Of Idolatry

byproductofidolatry

For Israel has forsaken me and turned this valley into a place of wickedness. The people burn incense to foreign gods—idols never before acknowledged by this generation, by their ancestors, or by the kings of Judah. And they have filled this place with the blood of innocent children. They have built pagan shrines to Baal, and there they burn their sons as sacrifices to Baal. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing! (Jeremiah 19:4-5)

Read: Jeremiah 19:1 – 21:14, 1 Thessalonians 5:4-28, Psalm 82:1-8, Proverbs 25:9-10

Relate: Baal and Asherah are often paired in the Bible when the prophets are condemning idolatry. Baal was in many ways a catch-all phrase representing various local gods but in the writing of Jeremiah Baal very specifically refers to Hadad and his consort Asherah (or the Queen of heaven). Hadad and Asherah among other things, are representations of the male and female aspects of fertility. So you can just imagine what sort of “religious” rites would go into their worship. You can also imagine why Ba’al worship was such a difficult sin for the Israelites to overcome. It is one they continuously stumbled into over and over and over again from the days of the Judges right up to the exile. How many people today, while they do love God and desire to follow Him, find themselves pulled back into worshiping “idols of fertility”?

Jeremiah did not mince words when it came to the coming consequence of their idol worship with its attendant child sacrifices: “I will reduce Jerusalem to ruins, making it a monument to their stupidity.”

React: It is important to keep the context in mind when we read verses like Jeremiah 19:5. It is so easy for our thoughts to glaze over it with barely more than a consideration about how barbaric the people of that time must have been. We in the modern world have evolved beyond tossing our children into the fire. We are far more civilized.

Yes, far more civilized. Now we stick a little vacuum up there and allow our children to be dismembered in a moment of horror and torture as we suck them right from our body. Yes, we are far more civilized. Now we catch them half way through the process of being born and snip their little heads off. Yes, we are far more civilized. Now we don’t just allow those bodies to be burned to death. We sell them for parts.

I wonder, if God were to delay a few hundred years more, How will we be judged? How will the people of the future look at how we look at the way we murder our children who are a byproduct of our worship at the “idols of fertility”? Will they comment on our murder of millions of preborn children in the name of convenience and say, “how barbaric.”

Respond: 

God, for the way we have murdered the byproduct of our idolatry, please forgive us. Even more, please hold us to account. You are a good God. You are a just God. While I pray for grace and forgiveness and restoration on those who now live with the pain and the shame of what they have done to their own children, I also pray for justice and judgment to come on the systems and governments that would allow such a barbaric genocide to take place. Do whatever it takes to break us free from this sin just as you swept Judah into exile. Above all I pray that You would be proved right in what You do.

 

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12 thoughts on “October 12 – The Byproduct Of Idolatry

  1. Amen, Amen! Beejai.
    There are those who promote this atrocity, those who perform it and those who patronize it. God’s judgment will be distributed accordingly; promoters harsher than performers, performers harsher than patrons.
    And for those who turn from such an affront to God with a contrite heart we ask His mercy. For the pre-born slain that may know the joy of God’s eternal loving embrace.
    What makes men and women do such things? As your post so thoroughly attests to; man turned from God to false gods.
    “When men and women deny the supernatural they are left with the unnatural.”- G.K. Chesterton
    -Alan

  2. Forceful without vitriol, this post tells the truth–with compassion for those living with regret. Thank you. Please pray for those of us working at pregnancy centers to reach as many women (and men) as we can with the message of love and life. The needs are enormous. They are God-sized.

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  7. Amen BJ, our nations have fallen greatly in this and many other sins. It is the Holy Spirit’s responsibility to convict, we are to spread the Good News, while there is still time and walk before our God humbly, being mindful of our own shortfalls and God’s wondrous grace. God’s peace to you my brother. – Bruce

  8. Matthew 18:6 comes to mind – ” But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. “

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