Baal-worship and The
All too many
Seventh-day Adventists are prone to think that Baal-worship has
something to do with sun-worship but most of all they think it was only
the terrible apostasy in the days of Elijah. That denial of the Creator
was merely evidence in that day which shows the long-standing enmity of
the human heart that has roots in Eden.
The apostasy of
Adamís firstborn son bore a harvest so corrupt that "it repented
the Lord that He had made man on the earth" for "the
wickedness of man was great ... every imagination of the thoughts of his
heart was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:6, 5). Cain became the
father of the unfaithful who established a system of rebellion that
culminated in the flood. It was a way of life, a strategy that rejected
the word of the Lord.
It took only
three generations after the flood to lay the cornerstone of the great
apostasy so deep and tenacious it would endure until the end of time.
Ham, one of Noahís three sons who was saved in the ark, seems to have
learned little from his experience. The descendants of Ham are notorious
for their depravity. His son Canaan was the father of Israelís
implacable enemy, the Canaanites. His grandson was Nimrod, and Nimrod
was "a mighty one in the earth" (Genesis 10:8) who became the
founder and first mayor of Babylon. It was this city that was destined
to become "BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND
ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (Revelation 17:5). It was not the
splendor of the buildings that was to be great, although archaeologists
to this day are amazed at the ruins of the city, but it was the
"abominations" that would be great and make the world drunk.
The charter of this city would endure until the sanctuary is cleansed.
We live in that cleansing time now.
another thousand years the children of men had reached the place that
the Lord was again faced with a crisis. The faithful line of Shem had
nearly disappeared from the earth. What could the Lord do? He seems to
have been left with only the family of Abraham. He was constrained to
try again. He would need to get him out of his own land, away from the
idol-worship, away from false ideas, into a land that the Lord Himself
would show him. And so it was.
And after this
there was the destruction of Sodom; Joseph in Egypt; Moses to lead
Israel; the Passover; the exodus; the sanctuary and its services; the
spies, faithful and
unfaithful; the apostasy at the borders of the promised land; the
lusting for a worldly king to take the place of the Heavenly King which
eventually brought Ahab to the throne. And then came the deplorable
display of deception and blindness at Mt. Carmel. The crisis was the
fruit of years of failure to heed the words of warning and reproof the
Lord had sent. Each refusal to repent had deepened their guilt and
driven them farther from heaven. Year after year, for about a century,
Israel had been departing from Godís way.
Elijah could face
King Ahab only because he exercised strong genuine faith in the
unfailing power of Godís word. He did not seek the job. At the same
time he dared "not hesitate to obey the divine summons."2
He recognized that "unbelief was fast separating the chosen nation
from the Source of their strength. ... Oft-repeated appeals,
remonstrations, and warnings had failed to bring Israel to repentance.
The time had come when God must speak to them by means of judgments. ...
The apostate tribes of Israel were to be shown the folly of trusting to
the power of Baal for temporal blessings."3
We Recognize Baal-worship?