Israel Drawn Into Baal Worship!
A sex-dominated society faces God’s promise of ruin.
Promiscuity, wine, and new wine take away one’s understanding.
God summarizes the people’s new identity. Prostitution and drinking occupy their thoughts. They enjoyed Baal worship because it brought great physical pleasure. Israel sold out their history and their nation and its future for a good time in the here and now. The people have rejected knowledge. Now their indulgences dull their mental capacities so they can no longer receive knowledge.
|Baal Worship Is Alive and Well In The World!
Baal worship is alive and well in America and the world – though they do not call it that today. Let me explain.
First we must look back in time, and see how Baal was worshiped. Actually, there were two gods, which were essentially worshiped the same way, Baal and Ashtoreth. Molech was another such god. Two practices in particular are mentioned in Scripture.
First was sexual orgies “under every green tree,” where promiscuity and perverted sex acts were the norm.
Second was passing their babies through the fire. This was murdering the babies that resulted from the orgies by throwing them alive into a fire pit to be burned to death. These things were done in the name of the pagan idol-gods Baal, Ashtoreth, and Molech.
How are we doing this today?
The gods have been renamed “Sexual Freedom” and “A Woman’s Right to Choose.” The religion is called “Pleasure and Convenience.”
We live in an age of loose moral standards, where it is acceptable and encouraged for us to have sexual partners outside of marriage. Just watch television; There is hardly a show on TV that does not glorify hunting sexual partners, or having such relationships without being married first.
Then when the seed bears fruit, we murder the unborn baby. One method of abortion is a saline/chemical solution injected into the womb, which literally burns the baby to death. Another is to go in with a knife and cut the baby up (torture and cutting also being a popular form of satanic worship). Then there is the partial birth abortion, where they crack open the skull of a partially born child and suck out the brains with a vacuum.
The priests are the abortion doctors, and the teachers are our television writers/producers and others who promote this lifestyle. One of the high temples is “Planned Parenthood,” an organization whose sole purpose is make modern Baal worship acceptable to the people.
In ancient times much of Israel was drawn into Baal worship. Their neighboring countries practiced it, so they wanted to practice it too, to get along with their neighbors. God called them out to be separate, but they wanted to be liked by the world
History repeats itself. Many churches today take a soft stance on sin, particularly sexual sin. Divorce/remarriage and sexual immorality of almost every kind is found almost as often in many of our churches as it is in the world. Some even approve of abortions. Like the ancient Jews, they are mixing worship of Christ with worship of Baal.
My people consult their wooden idols, and their divining rods inform them. For a spirit of promiscuity leads them astray; they act promiscuously in disobedience to their God.
Hosea 4:12 (HCSB)
God returns to His legal charges against the nation. The accused defendants in the case are my people. God’s constant emotive call shows the incongruity of title and practice. They call on wood, not on God. They receive reports from their staff, the tool of the shepherd’s trade now used to describe the wooden wand used in pagan divination practices.
This spirit of prostitution or promiscuity that makes Israel chase after foreign gods and revel in Canaanite cults eventually leads them astray (Amos 2:4).
The final phrase apparently has a double meaning. It reads literally, “they prostitute themselves from under their God (gods).” They are supposed to be serving under the Lord’s leadership. Instead they are seeking other gods as “lovers.” They are throwing themselves under Baal in the depraved practices of Baal worship.
They sacrifice on the mountaintops, and they burn offerings on the hills, and under oaks, poplars, and terebinths, because their shade is pleasant. And so your daughters act promiscuously and your daughters-in-law commit adultery.
Hosea 4:13 (HCSB)
God had given instructions about Israel’s worship at the place He would choose. Israel refused to carry out God’s plans. Instead, they followed the Canaanite residue they had left in the Promised Land. They sacrificed on the tops of the hills, where the Baal altars were built, usually with a sacred grove of trees, a man-made idol, and a stone pillar.
It may well be that many Israelites pronounced the name Yahweh as they worshipped at these pagan sites. They had confused pure worship of the Lord with contaminated worship. Here under the pleasant shade of the trees viewing nature’s beauty, they engage in explicit sexual worship practices, even devoting their own daughters and the wives of their sons as sacred prostitutes in the Baal worship places.
The oak was a big, strong tree (Amos 2:9), apparently part of the grove that provided shade for the worshippers. The poplar was the storax tree that produced fragrant resin. So the people enjoyed a pleasant aroma under the shade (Gen. 30:37). The terebinth was a large tree connected with pagan worship (translated “oak” in Ezek. 6:13).
Therefore, God had good reason to take his people to court as immoral and unfaithful (see Hos. 14:1-2).
I will not punish your daughters when they act promiscuously or your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery, for the men themselves go off with prostitutes and make sacrifices with cult prostitutes. People without discernment are doomed.
Hosea 4:14 (HCSB)
Surprisingly, the Lord promises not to punish someone in all this moral mess. He will not hold the women accountable for their adultery, since the men are even worse. They devoted themselves to sexual acts in the name of worshipping Baal. They separated themselves from their families by slipping away to a convenient spot where they could find cultic prostitutes.
Or did they claim to be worshipping God with such immorality?
This is part of their worship, giving sacrifices to the pagan god, Baal. They will come to the same end – total ruin – as the babbling fools of Proverbs 10:8-10.
Holman Old Testament Commentary