Are YOU going to plead Baal's cause?
In the morning when the people of the town got up, there was Baal’s altar, demolished, with the Asherah pole beside it cut down and the second bull sacrificed on the newly built altar!
They asked each other, “Who did this?”
When they carefully investigated, they were told, “Gideon son of Joash did it.”
The people of the town demanded of Joash, “Bring out your son. He must die, because he has broken down Baal’s altar and cut down the Asherah pole beside it.”
But Joash replied to the hostile crowd around him, “Are you going to plead Baal’s cause? Are you trying to save him? Whoever fights for him shall be put to death by morning! If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar.” So because Gideon broke down Baal’s altar, they gave him the name Jerub-Baal that day,saying, “Let Baal contend with him.”
If you read the previous post, I am sure that you just might be thinking that the verses for today sound familiar. Well, they are because we actually walked through them on yesterday. But as I was writing the previous post, another thought came to mind regarding one of the verses, in particular, and I had to add the surrounding verses in order to give some context for ourconversation on today. That verse is Judges 6:31 –
But Joash replied to the hostile crowd around him, “Are you going to plead Baal’s cause? Are you trying to save him? Whoever fights for him shall be put to death by morning! If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar.”
BlogFam, Are you going to plead Baal’s cause? I know that in today’s times it sounds like a weird question to focus on but the motivation behind the question and the hostility that provokes the question is not so foreign.
Gideon was instructed by the Lord to tear down the altar of Baal and the people of the town, his family and friends, got mad. They were going for his head! And Joash, Gideon’s father speaks up as a voice of reason in the midst of this heated moment and asks a probing question –
Are you going to plead Baal’s cause?
As I think about this very question, I cannot help but to consider the many ways we all plead Baal’s cause. And at the most basic level, to plead Baal’s cause is to advocate on behalf of anyone and anything that is contrary to the righteousness of God, anyone or anything that we worship above the Almighty.
BlogFam, are you going to plead Baal’s cause? Of course, most of us, would quickly and readily respond NO! I am not going to plead Baal’s cause. And that definitely sounds like the best answer to give. It actually is the best answer to give but the truth is, more often than not, our hearts are sometimes far from that NO we say with our mouths.
Baal represented everything that was not pleasing to the Almighty. The children of Israel had been commanded not to worship ANY gods before the God who delivered their foremothers and forefathers from the hands of the Egyptians. Yet, being in this new place that had been given to them, over time, they compromised and they left their first and only true love. They began to worship the gods of the land, including Baal. And NOW that this mighty warrior has heard and obeyed the voice of the Lord telling him to tear down the altar of Baal, the people are in an uproar. They want to KILL the man who has destroyed the thing that is keeping them from worshipping the one, true, and living God.
BlogFam, I know this sounds twisted. I know that your first response to the question of whether YOU are pleading the cause of Baal is NO but today I am asking you – Really? Are you sure that you are NOT trying to save Baal? And before you answer, think about it. Pause a moment to think about your answer. Pause a moment to consider whether your heart is aligned with your verbal response. Pause a moment to ponder the actual attitudes and behaviors that you have and how they may or may not reflect Baal.
BlogFam, Are you going to plead Baal’s cause? Are you trying to save him? In other words, as we advance our causes to destroy the lives or the livelihood of others and as any of us do anything that does not fulfill the two greatest commandments to LOVE GOD and to LOVE OUR NEIGHBORS, we are indeed, pleading the cause of Baal. For in those instances, we are more willing to maintain a status quo, a tradition, an idea, etc. that disregards the LOVE we are to have for all people in order to keep things as they are – even to the point where we will justify UN-righteousness for the sake of personal gain, popularity, and political prowess.
My friends, I know that this might be a hard pill to swallow but as I was writing yesterday’s post, I could not skip over the impact that one question had on me. I had to ask you. I had to wrestle with the reality that there may be areas in my own life where a reverence and respect for people, places, ideas, or things just might be keeping me from seeing the errors in my judgments. I also had to take the role of Joash on today and just ask this hard question, this probing question so that we can all give an account of where we stand.
Are you going to plead Baal’s cause? Are you trying to save anyone or anything associated with Baal? Regardless of your reasons or rationales for doing so, I have to be honest with you, as Joash was with that angry crowd: Whoever fights for him shall be put to death [by morning]!And whether or not you believe that figuratively or literally, you have got to believe/know that NOTHING and NO ONE can contend with the Almighty God!
BlogFam, put down your weapons. Lay down your attitudes. Do not plead the cause of Baal. Do not try to save anyone or anything associated with Baal. Confess your sins. Free your mind. And turn your heart to God. In the end, anyone who does not LOVE GOD and LOVE THEIR NEIGHBOR as we are all commanded will NOT win!
It is time for YOU to take a stand and even if you stand alone, plead the cause of God and plead the cause of God’s righteousness on behalf of all people. And YES, there will be those who will speak and act against you with hostility. However, I pray that you will listen to the voice of the Lord, obey His instructions to you, and keep moving on as God’s mighty warrior!
GOD LOVES YOU AND I DO TOO!!!
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