I was intrigued with a letter to the editor in the July issue of “Thy Kingdom Come”. It was from someone in Colorado who asked the Lord how a person should pray for America. The Lord directed this person to Judges, chapter six. The chapter is about Gideon, a man of the tribe of Manasseh. Gideon was loyal to God, but lived in a nation oppressed by the Midianites and by Baal worship. Judges chapter six is about how Gideon destroyed the altar of Baal and replaced it with an altar to the Lord. At the time I read this letter in TKC magazine, the pastor of our church preached a sermon in which he described aspects of Baal worship in ancient Israel. After that, I got a book from the library called Near Eastern Mythology by John Gray and found out more about Baal worship.
A good name for Baal would be “the god of fornication”. At the beginning of the growing season it was thought that Baal had sexual intercourse with three nymphs to ensure good crops. Their names were: the plump damsel, the daughter of showers, and the earth maiden. To parallel this, farmers in ancient Israel were expected to give one of their virgin daughters to the priests of Baal to use in their ceremonies. After planting was finished and before the hot months of summer, people celebrated the mythical story of Baal’s sexual intercourse with a heifer, which later gave birth to a calf, known as the son of Baal. When Moses was on the mountain, Israel made a golden calf and sacrificed to it, saying, “These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt” Exodus 32:4. They may have been worshiping Baal and the son of Baal. Sometime later, Israel sinned again. “And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baal-peor: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel.” Numbers 25:1-3. People who worshiped Baal frequently became involved in fornication and adultery. They also believed that Baal’s bloodthirsty sister Anat rejoiced in the shedding of blood. This may be why they cut themselves in their worship ceremonies (see I Kings 18:28).
What does this have to do with America or Canada? It seems to me that our nations have fallen into Baal worship again. The “god of fornication” has made sex sins look attractive on television, in the movies, and in fiction novels. We are an over-sexed society. “Living together” without being married has become a way of life for young adults and some not so young. Let`s call it what it is: Fornication. Young people are drawn into sex sins early in life by exposure to pornography. In his book Pure at Heart, Dr. Simon Sheh points out some disturbing facts about pornography in our society. For instance, the average age when California school boys first see porn: eleven; the average age for California school girls: twelve. As of July 2003 there were 260 million pages of pornography on the internet, an increase of 1800 percent since 1998. The porn industry turns out 11,000 pornographic films each year. Americans rent upwards of 800 million pornography videos and DVDs a year. These are just a few of the facts facing us as we survey the sexual morass our nations have fallen into.
Organizations such as Promise Keepers and Focus on the Family have been fighting for sexual purity for years, but the corruption has gone too deep. They cannot turn America or Canada from those sins. It does not help that President Obama applauds gay marriages. (As a side comment, some people are angry that the homo-sexual community has taken over the word “gay”. It used to be a beautiful English word that appeared frequently in poetry.) Only the return of Jesus Christ can turn us away from our sins, and this is promised to us. Speaking of Israel, the Lord said, “For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name.” Hosea 2:17. Our people do not remember the names of Baal, but they worship him by their behavior. Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus, and make us a morally clean people.