1 Kings 21:25
Still, there was no one like Ahab, who devoted himself to do what was evil in the LORD’s sight, because his wife Jezebel incited him.
Just what did Ahab do that was so evil? He married the daughter of the King of Sidon and brought Baal worship to Israel. He didn’t rid Israel of the worship of YAWEH; he simply added a new religion to the mix. Instead of devoting their lives to the true worship of God, the Israelites were now free to worship more than one god and, hopefully, get the best of everything. What could possibly be so bad about this?
Sidon was a very rich city that was devoted to Baal worship. Baal was both a rain god and a fertility god. By providing rain, he blessed the crops of the land and brought wealth. As a fertility god, he made households fruitful in number. Baal was a symbol of wealth and prosperity, and those who worshipped him sought his favor to enjoy the pleasures of life. There was no need to depend upon YAHWEH for the things of life if they could appeal to Baal to provide them. There was no need to endure suffering or to do what was right in God’s sight if Baal could give them what they wanted. Baal provided a quick fix to temporary pleasures, while YAWEH required their full submission and demanded trust and dependence upon Him for eternal life. Sadly, many in Israel chose to worship Baal.
Today, we see Baal worship alive and well in our own country. While we may not bow to an idol, we have added other things to our worship of God. We may still be Christians, but we tend to seek the ease and comfort of a worldly life, and we bow to the things that will provide them for us, rather than trusting God to give us what we need. In fact, anything that diminishes our dependence upon God to bless and multiply our lives can be considered a form of Baal worship.
Baal worship also included infant sacrifices. The spirit of Baal feeds upon the blood of innocent children. The temple worship for Baal often included rituals of orgies and prostitution in order to satisfy the god of fertility. Children conceived during these rituals were usually sacrificed in the fire of Molech, as well as newborn children of people wanting to satisfy this beastly god. These horrendous sacrifices were accompanied by loud music and drums in order to drown the sounds of the cries of the burning babies. This evil was normal and encouraged by Jezebel in order to satisfy her gods so she could live the illegitimate life of wealth and power she craved. Just look at the political scene in America today to see glaring resemblances.
How could Ahab have brought such a detestable thing to God’s people? He did it through the influence of a woman – a very wicked woman. He allowed her to influence him more than he allowed God to govern his life. In this, we find the downfall of both the man and the nation. She had no power in Israel except through Ahab, and she sought to rule through him. He was a weak man and a weak king, and his weakness brought destruction to his entire lineage.
Don’t allow the pleasures of life or the influence of this world to destroy your inheritance in God. Devote yourself fully to Him, and rid yourself of any dependence that causes you to stumble. God is your source, and He is greater than anything or anyone that provides you with a quick fix to life’s problems. Allow God to strengthen you in your weakness and to heal your hurts. Only then will you find the answers you really need. Reject the influence of that woman – Jezebel – and the manipulative schemes she uses to entice you. Her lure is dangerous, but she has no power unless you give it to her. Instead of increasing your gods, increase your time in God’s presence. The more you depend upon Him, the less attractive the call of the world will be.
Have a blessed day!