To most of us Baal is synonymous with idolatry. We also don’t often think of idolatry as a threat to the church today. Sure there are still some cultures that have their ‘statues’, but we know better. We would never be tempted by something like that, right? Paul tells us not to be too sure of ourselves, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” (1 Cor 10:12). Even though we might not bow down to a carved image, we do often allow other gods to come between us and God.
In Canaan there were many Baalim, and each one was supposed to serve a different purpose. One Baal was for agriculture, another for controlling flies, another for fertility and sexuality. The word Baal simply means lord or master. Any time we allow something other than God to be our master we are following Baalism in a sense. We don’t often name our idols today or even build physical idols, but we have them all the same. Let us look at a few.
Just as the Canaanites of old and the Israelites as well offered their children to their idols, we do today. The god that we offer our children to isn’t Molech or Chemosh or Baal, but Convenience. If a child is inconvenient it is either aborted, left on a doorstep, pushed off on relatives, or as a last resort we will pay someone to take this thing for the better part of the day so that our worship of convenience is not interfered with. God laid the responsibility of rearing children on the parents, not on the government or total strangers. (Eph 6:4) “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” We sacrifice ourselves many times to the god of Pleasure, just as those in that time did. They had orgies and thought they were doing what their gods wanted them to do. We know God does not want that, but we figured a way around that little problem. Though we would never engage in the horribly immoral acts of homosexuality or fornication, or murder, rape, and drunkenness; we really enjoy movies, books, and television shows that glorify that type of behavior. We rationalize that we aren’t doing any of those sinful things. Who do we think we are kidding? Paul admonishes us to think on the good things not the evil. (Phil 4:8) “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” In Romans he tells us that having pleasure in others who do sinful things is just as sinful as those doing it, and it is even worse since we should know better. (Rom 1:32 - 2:1) “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (2:1) Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.”
Time fails me to examine the Baalim of Popularity, Wealth, Pride, Science, Entertainment, etc. We need to always keep in mind that not all idols are made of wood, stone, and metal. Let us determine to serve God and Him alone.