21st Century, Robbing God, Baal Worship and Influences
In the last Book fo the Old Testament God has a complaint addressed against His Levitical Priesthood and it may as well be a complaint against modern teachers and priests who say that they speak for God as well.
Malachi 3:8, “Will a man rob God?”
That question could be asked today, or it could be asked also, do we know the difference between robbing and stealing? The latter stealing, is the 8th commandment whereas robbing is not one of the commandments at all. It is a law but is not identified as one of the ten.
The answer to the question which is asked by God is yes, we do rob Him.
The Hebrew word for rob is number 6906 and means, to cover, to defraud, rob or spoil.
Malachi 2:1, and now O ye priests, this commandment is for you. Verse 7, For the priests lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.
The priests, who were entrusted with the knowledge of God forfited their priesthood by not teaching the people His ways correctly. So, how do we rob Him? In that He can’t bless us because of wrong teaching. As much as He wants to bless us, it is impossible for Him to do so. Why? Because the teachers of the law have twisted the Word into fables or fairytales.
Prophets of God
Have you ever wondered why God always sent prophets to His people? The purpose of a prophet was to restore God’s truth to His people. We read in the Old Testament the writings in the Books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy which contain blessing as well as cursing. God does not in any way intend to harm us. We can harm ourselves when we follow our own desires and traditions imposed upon us by the outside world. By the ourside world I am referring to the traditions of men, atheism or non believers and to all agnostics. We can’t live outside of God’s purpose and receive His blessings. That was God’s complaint in the Book of Malachi where God says, “Will a man rob God,” yes, wrong teaching robs God of blessing His children. What father would not want to bless His children? There is no way in which God could bless His children because of their living outside of His laws. That’s what God means by telling us that the Levitical priests were under a curse. When His people went astray, God sent them prophets for the people to be directed in a way, please consider a “new and living way” according to Hebrews 10:20, in which they could receive His blessings.
God in Competition with the gods of the Canaanites
When we follow the calling of Abraham and his sons Isaac and Jacob we find that Jacob had twelve son’s called the nation of Israel who were set free by God from Egyptian slavery. The forty years of God leading them in the wilderness should have proven that God could provide for all their needs.
While in Egyptian captivity, they had learned of the many gods of the Egyptians, one of which was named Baal. He became an influencing force throughout Israel’s journey to the promised land. Yet, in many cases the man made gods of Canaan prevailed because of the mixed multitude among them, Numbers 11:4-6. When we get to the book of Judges, we see that many of the tribes of Israel, didn’t obey God and drive out the inhabitants of the land.
Judges 1:28, And it came to pass, when Israel was strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out.
Israel tolerated the Canaanites by taxing them or paying for their services. What did God tell the Nation of Israel to do when they entered the land given them?
Deuteronomy 7:1, “When the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land whether thou goest to possess it, and cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hiivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; 2, And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them.”
These seven nations were nothing more than the hostilities within ourselves, our human nature, our natural life, which are contrary to God’s Spirit and war against the Spirit of God. Did you ever wonder why a person feels uncomfortable when the subject of God is mentioned? Thats human nature at work.
We need to rely on God and His mercy to remove these faulty characteristics within us because He is stronger than we are. We can’t remove these negative deeds of the flesh within us with our own strength, Galatians 5:19-23. Because the children of Israel didn’t destroy the gods of the people as they were instructed, they instead practiced many of the ways of the heathen, causing the people to drift further away from the God who rescued them from Egypt.
Numbers 25:1, And Israel abode in shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. 2, And they called the people unto the sacrifice of their gods: and the people did eat, and bow down to their gods. 3, And Israel joined himself unto Baal-peor.
One of the first examples of God leading His people away from Baal worship was the story of Abraham and the sacrifice of Isaac. This command by God, proved Abraham’s faith, and the stopping of the sacrifice of Isaac by God was to show that God didn’t require to sacrifice anything but a willing heart and obedience to Him, much less sacrificing children. Children are a blessing.
Jeremiah 7:22, “For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices: 23, but this thing command I them, saying, “Obey My voice, and I will be your God and ye shall be My people: and walk all the ways I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.”
Is it well with us? What is the act of abortion if it isn’t contrary to the will of God? Many people think of children as a matter of inconvenience rather than a blessing. We hide these sacrifices of children in the manufacturing of cosmetics and in the research of our modern medicines like vaccines. Are we any different from our forefathers were in the days of the wandering of Israel in the wilderness? The apostle Paul says that these things are written for our learning, Romans 15:4.
Baal as a Counterfeit Husband
The name Baal means owner, one who has dominion, or a husband. Today, in this twenty-first century, the people of God have the same problem as when the Prophet Jeremiah wrote his book.
Jeremiah 2:4, hear ye the word of the Lord, O House of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel: 5, Thus saith the Lord, “What iniquity have your fathers found in Me, that they are gone far from Me, and have walked after vanity, and have become vain,”
I wonder how many in the churches know of the two houses of Israel or that the meaning of the word vain is meant to have no value. I’m sure that many of them would be shocked to know that in God’s eyes they are of little value.
Jeremiah 3:8, “And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, and went and played the harlot also.
We are living today as in the ending of the Book of Judges describes:
Judges 21:25, And in those days there was no king in Israel: everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
We live at a time that the people like to hear the beautiful “Hallelujah Chorus” describing God as King of King’s and Lord of Lord’s and yet not knowing what’s written in His instruction Book, the Bible, which is the Word of God, especially concerning the subject of marriage. The division among us is rampant. Half of all marriages end in divorce, the people are divided with national policy differences, and we have all kinds of denominational church worship differences. How is it possible for God to bless His people? What are the church pastors and ministers teaching the people? God’s complaint of robbng Him has come full circle. The people would rather have someone else tell them of their responsibilities than enter into a conversation with and hearing what God says through His instruction manuel the Bible.
There is a good reason why God can’t bless us and Jesus confronted this problem during His ministry when He asked the question, “Have ye not read,” Matthew 12:3,5; 19:4; 21:16,22:21; Mark 2:25 , 12:26 ; Luke 6:3.
God has given us His instruction Manual the Bible, have we read it, and have we unerstood it?