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Saturday, November 3, 2012

LXXXVI. The New Asherah Poles

Does anyone really care about the presidential election coming up on Tuesday?  Do you think God judges us on which candidate we vote for?  Do you think we should vote based more on human reasoning, things that we feel are important personally or or biblical reasoning?  Does the Bible say anything about any of the issues we deal with today?  Actually it says quite a few things about politics or at least what leaders should be like.
There is an old saying that says an organization is only as good as its leadership.  If you have bad bosses to work for and they don’t know how to run the business it won’t make it.  Places like Nike and Ford only got to be as large as they are because of the way their leaders did things.  It is the same with countries.  If their leadership is bad the country falls apart but if it is good then it can last.
So picking the right leader is really quite important.  But why is important?  Most of the people would say because that’s what creates jobs.  But the Bible says in Psalms though that government is only there to protect people from each other not to take care of them.  God will do that.
We are supposed to listen to government.  Jesus recognized the role of government when he told his disciples to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s which was talking about taxes.  He even went to trial when he was accused.  He knew government had a purpose and we need to respect them.  But if it tells us to not to listen to God’s words then we have to remember that God’s word has more authority.  Even if that means it can get us into trouble we need to take a stand.
Daniel in the OT disobeyed the government when the king Darius told everyone that prayer to anything but him was a crime.  Daniel stood his ground and prayed to God anyway.  The ones who were in charge of making that law saw Daniel do it and told the king.  The king because he signed the law had to do something to Daniel in the form of punishment so he threw him into the lion’s den.  But Daniel trusted in the Lord and was saved.  The point here is that Godly values are higher than man’s values.  So what happens when man starts to think he knows more than God?  The men who thought they could overrule God were then thrown into the pit and eaten.
Before Israel moved into the Promised Land they were told not to worship false idols and false Gods that all of the people living there were doing.  It is even one of the Ten Commandments.  But when they got there they started to adopt the practices of the nations they had just got done defeating in battle.  One of the biggest things they started to do was use as a worship object something called the Asherah Pole. 
Asherah was a Sumerian goddess.  She was supposed to be the wife of God, his equal.  She was worshipped as one who had excellence and was powerful over the seas.  Now of course God has no equal.  By the way satan was supposed to be full of excellence and John’s vision in Revelation says he saw a creature coming out of the sea.  Anyway, this was a mythological creature created by the early Sumerians who did not follow the Jewish God called Yahweh or Jehovah. 
Asherah worshiping is mentioned over 30 times in the Bible.  The problem is the Jewish people did not get rid of this worship idol and even built poles in honor of her and each time God burned with anger against His own people.  He told them to tear down these poles.  Some kings did not do what they were supposed to do and neither did the people.  God then handed over the Israelites to certain nations.
When kings like Josiah tore down Asherah poles then Israel was seen a righteous and God returned to them.
Now I am not telling you to go mosques, Buddhist temples here in the US and tear them down.  This story is for us to understand that we are not to tolerate sin or things that lead us into sin.  We don’t have Asherah poles but we do have things that we have tolerated in this country too long.  We are not supposed to let “asherah poles” into our lives.  We are supposed to stand up against it and sometimes that means politics.  So how?
The most talked about topics in the Christian world are: Abortion, sexual impurity, and family values.
The Bible is very open and strict about these two subjects.  It says that God knows us in the womb.  He knows us because he made us; which means we have personality, a heartbeat and a life even before we can see the world.  There are many passages about sexual purity and how the family works.  I won’t bore you with the rest.  These aren’t the only three things that we need to deal with but they are important.
This is not to tell you which person people should vote for because there are over 75 candidates that are running for president.   Every individual has to make up their own mind.  But God is supposed to be part of our laws and moral standards whether people want to admit it or not.  And having people in the government allowing the “asherah poles” into our society is wrong.  God cannot be placed side by side with “asherah poles”.
However with that said, one political party argued about God this year and many of them in that political party were angered when the word “God” was put back into their ideas.  When we as Christians allow our leaders to kick God out and to act like He doesn’t matter, then shame on us and we get what we deserve.
·    Proverbs 29:2--- When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked rule, the people groan
God doesn’t care about your political party.  Abortion and things like that are wrong but there is a bigger problem in this country and that is disobedience of God’s word.  Abortion, and all that, are only a symptoms of falling away from God.  The Church for some reason isn’t teaching that anymore.  Christians have to take a stand like Daniel.  The Church needs to make a stand.
Because God said in…
·    II Chronicles 7:14---if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins and heal their land.
Remember an organization is only as strong as its leader.  The Church needs to be a leader.  And if we are weak then so is our country. 
He may not care about your politics but he does care about what you stand for.  We have to stand for Godly values because in the end He is in control.  He gave us guidelines to live by.  He is the ultimate authority.
And no matter who wins on Tuesday we need to pray for our leaders.
·    1Timothy 2:1-4 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way.

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