I believe it is simply this: it is a life that gives glory to God, submits to his Lordship, and in all things points to Jesus Christ as the purveyor and perfector of our faith. This was an era when God’s people were still separate tribes settling in the promised land of Canaan, and they lived in alternating periods of war and peace with their surrounding cultures. And you know what? But before Gideon and Israel could belong fully to him, God knew there was something that needed to be removed from their lives. We show our apathy when we become content to remain inside our walls, unwilling to step out as active participants in the Great Commission. I wonder if we look closely enough at ourselves, whether we would find Asherah poles in our lives; those things that we have allowed to creep in, and which steal our attention from God. They had cried out to Yahweh, because they were desperate, but they were still harboring loyalty to false gods. God commanded Gideon to build a proper altar and offer a sacrifice on the ashes of his Asherah pole. Though God is holy, and demands that his people likewise pursue holy lives, he doesn’t leave us to do this on our own. Just like the smallest bit of yeast will eventually work its way through an entire batch of dough, the pagan practices of the Canaanites worked their way throughout the tribes of Israel from family to family, until God’s people were utterly corrupted and turned away from him to worship idols made by human hands. We have more opportunity than any generation before us to get caught up in both trivial and non-trivial things that distract us from what is most important. I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me.”. And then he clearly stated to them what their sin was. And when God is done showing me all of these things, he always reminds me that I am his beloved child, and that he is pleased with me. Asherah (also Ashtoreth or Astarte, though there may have been a distinction) was the primary goddess worshiped by the ancient Canaanites and neighboring peoples, including the Philistines (1 Samuel 31:10). Miles Standish and his men observing the 'immoral' behavior. 7 When the Israelites cried out to the Lord because of Midian, 8 he sent them a prophet, who said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. I think you’ll find they are common enough that we easily overlook them, but if we examine them closely we quickly see their damaging effects. What Was The Asherah Pole? Have any of you experienced this disappointing trend? It is a tragedy for many of us that we continue to break God’s commands, when Jesus has already freed us from the power of sin. 6 The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites. Judges 6:1-10, 25-26.
In time, they would come to forget the mighty works of God on their behalf; they would fail to remember their covenant with God, and so they would lose their identity as a people called by his name. What is to be done? The Book of Judges chronicles this apostasy.
An Asherah pole was a sacred pole (or sometimes a tree) that was used in the worship of the pagan goddess Asherah. Who was the Beelzebub/Beelzebul that the Pharisees attributed Christ's work to? He continues to answer that prayer for me. Essentially, we're turning it into a den of thieves. If you aren’t already doing that, I encourage you to start doing so right away. Keep in mind, America as a nation is slowly drifting away from Biblical standards; with abortion being legalized and deregulated, homosexuality unhindered in the military (and even taught in some elementary schools), and D.C. filled with self-serving, thieving goons who would start useless wars, spill American blood, sacrifice our young men's lives if it means that their wallets will be stuffed with millions in the process. Other Asherah poles might be the love of money and power and fame. Все выпуски «Поле. God is able to see our weakness, and offer grace to overcome. But when we begin to allow these good things to distract us from the more important things in life, particularly spiritual things, we create idols out of them and they pull us away from God’s best for us. And so, God’s first command to Gideon was to destroy his father’s altar to Baal and tear down the Asherah pole beside it. God didn’t leave them wondering, unsure of where he stood or of what they were guilty. But how do we begin tearing down our Asherah poles that get in the way? 4 They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel, neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys. Why would we willingly turn around and walk back into the darkness from which we came? As a young child, unknowingly I participated in a spring ceremony, which featured an Asherah pole.
But I also remember that my citizenship, as a Christian, is in Heaven. In the same way, God extended his grace to the Israelites in their time of greatest need and raised up Gideon to deliver them from the Midianites. God’s response to the cries of Israel was two-fold. We use vast quantities of money in its pursuit. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia tells us Ashtoreth was a ... Asherah figure, the Canaanite fertility goddess. But God has called us live in a different way from the rest of the world. I cannot follow Gideon's example and simply cut down the flag to use as fuel for burning the bunting-and-balloon altar to the great god Freedominus Americammon.
I wonder sometimes if the church’s memory of God’s blessing is as short as ancient Israel’s, and our hearts as stubborn to God’s leading in our lives. Copyright 2011-2020 Got Questions Ministries - All Rights Reserved. As one wise man said "As Americans, we play in worship, worship our work, and work at our play".For the record, I am a proud American. I don’t want to leave anyone out; because the truth is that we are all distracted at times. While the exact appearance of an Asherah pole is somewhat obscure, it is clear that the ancient Israelites, after entering the land of Canaan, were influenced by the pagan religion it represented. And I delivered you from the hand of all your oppressors; I drove them out before you and gave you their land. This is the holy and loving character of God, which we still see displayed every day in people’s lives. Isaac Hopper (PhD, Manchester) is a theologian and technologist. Christian Truth. The Asherah pole was often mentioned in the Old Testament as one of the ways the Israelites sinned against the Lord and worshiped other gods. This is not a future promise, but is something that we can realize right here and right now. If so, ask God to help you seek out the root causes and remove them from your life. I think it begins by getting rid of those things that lie at the root of our distraction, our discontent, our distrust, and all of those other things that pull our attention away from God. As Joshua died of old age we find the Israelites in a pretty good place, poised to conquer the remaining Canaanite tribes.
Distraction – no one can deny that we are in an age of distraction like never before in history. But as the Israelites grew strong and stronger, they ceased to follow God’s instructions to the letter. We are entertaining ourselves to the point that normal life events seem boring and meaningless by comparison. For some, the ability to trust seems so far away, we can’t even imagine what that looks like. And he did this through an unnamed prophet, who told them: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 6 Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help. But he also didn’t cut them off from himself, with no hope of return. Old Glory On An Asherah Pole So, the Israelites had this annoying tendency to idolize the wrong things. If we ask God to show us where we have constructed idols in our lives, he will be faithful to help us tear them down and construct proper altars to him. Just like the Israelites, God shows us the dark places in our lives and convicts us of our lawlessness. 3 Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country.
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