Daily Encouragement

October 12 – From the Serpent in the Garden to Baal in Tophet: Satan’s Plan for Your Death

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

Jeremiah 19:3 — This warning 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 offered 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)! Because the firstborn had been sacrificed to Baal, they could not 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). He did so 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).

If they will offer their firstborn to Baal, the LORD challenges Baal to try to deliver the other kids from the LORD’s promised judgment, a judgment that will cause not just filicide but cannibalism as well! Jeremiah also said (because they apparently do not value children as much as prosperity) that if they went to worship by burning their children alive at Tophet (Jeremiah 19:2, Jeremiah 19:6), God would make their 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 like a burning fire shut up in the bones – release it!

Jeremiah 21:9 — The only way to survive is to surrender. Do you surrender all to Jesus?

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! Pray for us (1 Thessalonians 5:25)!

1 Thessalonians 5:23 — From Earl Martin:

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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