Daily Encouragement

October 12 – From the Serpent in the Garden to Baal in Tophet: Satan’s plan for your death

October 12
Jeremiah 19:1-21:14
1 Thessalonians 5:4-28
Psalm 82:1-8
Proverbs 25:9-10

Jeremiah 19:3 – This wasn’t to pagan Assyria, or wayward Israel, but the Kings of Judah! They have built altars to Baal and offered their sons to Baal.

Baal idol, University of Chicago. Author’s photograph.

Jeremiah 19:9 – Baal was a fertility god – the people offered their firstborn to Baal so that Baal would grant them many more children. The LORD didn’t ask for human sacrifice, but redemption (Exodus 13:15 – The LORD drew a distinct difference between mankind and the animals). This act was a memorial of the Passover, which itself foreshadowed our Passover Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 5:7)! But – because the firstborn has been sacrificed to Baal, they cannot be redeemed to the LORD.

Note the similarity between this and the Garden of Eden. The Tree of Life is more powerful than the Tree of Death/Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 3:22). If Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of Life first, they would live forever (Genesis 3:22). If they ate of the Tree of Life after, it would reverse the Tree of Death. But because they ate of the Tree of Death first, God put a guard at the east entrance to the way of the Tree of Life to keep them from eating it (Genesis 3:24) – because the life that comes ‘free’ must now be paid for with blood (Hebrews 9:22). Satan had a plan to keep Adam & Eve from the Tree of Life by getting them to the Tree of Death first, just like he planned to keep the kids from being redeemed by the LORD by being sacrificed to Baal (Jeremiah 19:9).

But if they will offer their firstborn to Baal, the LORD challenges Baal try to deliver the other kids from the LORD’s promised judgment that will cause not just filicide but cannibalism! Jeremiah further says (because they apparently do not value children as much as prosperity) if you go to worship by burning your children alive at Tophet (Jeremiah 19:2/Jeremiah 19:6), I’ll make your houses like Tophet as well (Jeremiah 19:13).

Jeremiah 20:2 – Well, the street preacher Jeremiah has been arrested (no 1st Amendment rights in Jerusalem!), beaten, and put in stocks.

Jeremiah 20:9 – A reluctant witness for the LORD cannot stay silent. His word is as a burning fire shut up in my bones – release it!

Jeremiah 21:9 – The only way to survive is to surrender. All to Jesus do you surrender?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2BnL_zI7uw

1 Thessalonians 5:8 – Americans consumed 7 billion gallons of beer last year. But Paul urges us to be sober!

1 Thessalonians 5:11 – Whether we live or die – our comfort is that we are with our LORD!

1 Thessalonians 5:17 – Pray on occasion? No! Pray without ceasing! (And pray for us! 1 Thessalonians 5:25).

Psalm 82:3-4 – Looking at what we read in Jeremiah – who is poorer or needier than the young firstborn babies that were sacrificed to Baal? Who needs protection more than the widow, on the verge of being fleeced by the unscrupulous dealmaker?

Proverbs 25:9 – Debate thy cause with thy neighbor on Facebook… or privately? Yes discretion is a valuable tool in the Christian’s arsenal!

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