For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. Psalm 71:5
Read: Psalm 71:1-8
Listen: Psalm 71
Just Google “Baal” and look at some of the statues from the ancient world. It seems ridiculous that anyone would worship them. But it wasn’t ridiculous, and everyone did it because of fear.
Agriculture drove the entire Israelite economy. During the dry season, everyone around Israel worshipped Baal (representing fertility) to bring the rain for a great harvest. Everyone told you your family might starve next year if you didn’t worship Baal. Peer pressure and fear only increased as the days dragged on without rain. Baal worship was rooted in fear for your economic and social collapse. The Israelites forgot it was not Baal that sends rain—but God.
Today we don’t do anything ridiculous like worship an idol like Baal. Or do we? Watch the video clip below as Pastor Jeff Manion talks about how we might not worship Baal, but we take good things and make them the only thing that matters. We worship a strong 401k. We worship a job title like director or chief officer. We worship our friends, our boyfriends or our girlfriends.
All of these things are good things, but when we make them the ultimate thing—they are counterfeit gods. We can recognize we “worship” these things when we think about our response if we don’t get them or lose them. Our natural inclination is to place our trust in these things and slowly drift toward doing what everyone around us does. Too easily we forget that God sends “the rain.”
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Consider what “good thing” you have a tendency to make the “ultimate” thing. Is there a moment of deep applause or deep shame in your past that you have chased? Once you’ve identified the good thing that can become your ultimate thing, say out loud, “You might be good, but you ain’t God.” Write that statement on a sticky note or type in your mobile device—then put it somewhere you will see it regularly.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.