Pursuing Blessings in the Wrong Place

“When it came to pass that Gideon had died, the Sons of Israel turned and committed fornication with the Ba’als. And they set Ba’al Beriyth as god over themselves.”

(Judges 8:33)

Even though words like these should not surprise me, it seems that every time we run into a cycle like this in the Bible, they do…or at least they grieve me. Yet, Peter reminds us that the dog’s tendency is to return to its own vomit (2 Peter 2:22). How sad it is.

Yet, the cycle happens and continues to take place today. How common it is for the people of God to rush after gods of their own making — things that they can control — rather than the God of the heavens and the earth. It matters not whether this is a health/wealth prosperity message or a man-made theology that celebrates free-will over God’s sovereign election, whatever the erroneous message, people flee to it because it gives them a sense that they are in control of their lives and of their destiny.

Yet, the God of the Bible won’t be put into a man-made box. He won’t be told what to do and he won’t submit his will to ours on any level or for any purpose. It is not our nature to embrace submission, but that is what God calls us to do…that is what God demands that we do if we are to be his in faith.

Ironically, Ba’al Beriyth, in Hebrew, means, “the Master of Blessing.” Yet, how can man-made things bless us? The futility of pursuing blessings from the making of one’s own hands can be seen all around us in the community — man’s ideas being exalted only to crumble under the judgment of God. No, blessings can only be found in the Lord God through Jesus Christ, His Son. All other avenues are vanity. And if you doubt that, ask Solomon.

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