Monday, November 29, 2010

Why Feller of Trees?

“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?" (Judges 6:13)

Judges 6-9 is the account of God choosing Gideon, son of Joash, to deliver Israel from the oppression of the Midianites. Gideon's first task: cut down the Asherah poles and destroy the Baals that his father had erected. Deuteronomy 16:21 states, "You shall not plant any tree as an Asherah beside the altar of the Lord your God". The Baals and the Asherahs, strictly forbidden by Yahweh, had been erected by the Israelites in the places of worship. The first step to delivering the land from tyranny of the enemy was to end the evil practices in the places of worship. The regeneration of Israel hinged on the restoration of proper worship during a time of widely accepted improper worship. The sinful rebellion was so widely accepted by God's people that they wanted to kill Gideon after he had cut down the Asherah and Baal.

"So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the Lord told him. But because he was afraid of his family and the townspeople, he did it at night rather than in the daytime. In the morning when the people of the town got up, there was Baal's alter, demolished, with the Asherah pole beside it cut down and the second bull sacrficed on the newly built alter! 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!" (Judges 6:27-31)

In America, we have been or are in the process of being taken over by our enemies on multiple fronts. The political landscape is falling apart and the culture is crumbling. Culture is defined by the "cult" or common set of beliefs and worship. In other words, culture is defined by the Church. The Church permeates into culture. Culture permeates into politics. There has been a fundamental breakdown and it all stems back to improper worship in the Church.

The remedy: Christ. He is our salvation. The first step: removing the Baals and Asherahs from the places of worship even in opposition from God's own people. What are our Baals and Asherahs? They take form in our disregard to Christ's words, just like Israel had disregarded God's words. Mark 10:11-12, Luke 16:18, Romans 7:2-3, I Corinthians 7:39, Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9 are no longer acknowledged. Even a cursory look at these principles will testify to the fact that unrepentant adultery is clearly our improper worship. For adultery is not only allowed in the places of worship, it is propagated as righteousness and defended tenaciously. Matthew 18:15-18, a process of confronting a brother in sin, exhorting him to repentance, and resulting in ex-communication for the unrepentant, is the first step to cutting down the Baals and Asherahs. I Corinthians 5:9-13, II Thessalonians 3:6,14, I Timothy 5:20, Titus 1:11 and 3:10, 2 John 1:10-11, I Corinthians 5:2,6-7, II Timothy 3:5, and Ephesians 5:3,7 reinforce Christ's command regarding unrepentant believers and would demolish the Baals and the Asherahs if practiced. Obedience to Him in worship will result in regeneration on all levels.

Gideon means feller of trees. "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." (Matthew 7:19)

1 comment:

  1. “The answer, then, to suffering is not an answer at all. It’s Jesus himself. It’s not a bunch of words, it’s the Word. It’s not a tightly woven philosophical argument; it’s a person. The person. The answer to suffering cannot be just an abstract idea, because this isn’t an abstract issue; it’s a personal issue. It requires a personal response. The answer must be someone, not just something, because the issue involves someone-God, where are you?”
    -Dr. Peter John Kreeft
    qtd. in The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel

    “Wisdom comes alone through suffering.”

    “People aren’t getting away with [hurting others all the time]. Justice delayed is not necessarily justice denied. There will come a day when God will settle accounts and people will be held responsible for the evil they’ve perpetrated and the suffering they’ve caused.”
    -Dr. Peter John Kreeft
    qtd. in The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel