The old adage that “troubles always come in threes” is uncannily accurate it seems. If, in the space of a few days, our car’s battery goes belly-up and the toilet gets clogged, it’s a sure bet that the cat will get sick, the honeybees will swarm, or a calf will wiggle through the fence and end up running down the road. These problems, although not life-threatening, can wear us down and have a significant impact upon our mental, emotional, and even our spiritual health.
In a similar manner, our national health is also subject to fatigue from the onslaught of a variety of moral and ethical problems. A cultural divide, an earthquake-sized crack in the unity of our nation, and all of humanity, is daily widening, further separating those on either side of the division. Our national political, moral and religious conflicts, it seems, are rooted in and growing out of three major arenas: wealth/power (greed/war), illicit sex (promiscuity/homosexuality) and infant sacrifice (abortion).
If you think all of these controversies and conflicts are new, think again. These troubles have plagued mankind since the beginning of civilization. When the ancient Israelites first entered the Promised Land, they found the native Canaanites worshiping three major deities: Baal, Astarte and Moloch.
Baal, who was known as “Prince, Lord of the Earth,” was the overseer of all things relating to commerce, wealth and power. As the supreme god, it was he who controlled the sun, storms, and agriculture. His lightning bolt defeated enemies as well as produced crops and children. As such, Baal worship was rooted in sensuality and war and often required human sacrifice. Yahshua called Satan “Beelzebub,” linking the devil to Baal (Matthew 12:27).
Astarte, the Hellenized form of the Middle Eastern goddess, Ishtar (pronounced Easter), was the goddess of fertility and sexuality. Also known as the Queen of Heaven, the worship of Astarte included ritual prostitution. The female and male shrine prostitutes, known as temple holy ones, were highly respected in their roles of performing these “sacred” acts, which also included homosexuality. Astarte, called Ashtorah in the Hebrew scriptures, was referred to as the consort of Baal or, in other regions, she was designated as the consort of Moloch, the most gruesome of the triad.
Moloch, whose name is interpreted in Hebrew as “the personified ruler of shameful sacrifice,” included sexual rituals along with child sacrifice. Moloch was usually portrayed in the form of a giant metal statue of a man with a bull’s head. The statue had outstretched arms that served as a ramp to a hole in the abdomen. A fire was lighted in and around the statue and firstborn babies were placed on the outstretched arms or directly in the hole to agonizingly burn to death. Drums were played during the spectacle to drown out the screams of the child. This sacrifice was to ensure financial prosperity and future children for the family.
The worship of these ancient deities is alive and well in modern society today. The economy, sex, and war make up the larger part of the headlines in the media. The illegal or obsessive accumulation of wealth, the rising crime rate, the promotion of promiscuity, the addiction to pornography and the approximately 3,000 abortions performed each day in our nation speak volumes on the spiritual decay within. Just as the roles of Baal, Astarte and Moloch were dependent upon and intertwined together in a circle of greed, carnality, and death, so do we see this played out each and every day in the virtual and the real world. “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun”, Ecclesiastes 1:9.
The first commandment given to mankind was, “I am Yahweh your Elohim, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other elohim before me.” Exodus 20: 2-3. He brought us out of slavery to sin and told us not to worship other mighty ones. Each day we do battle against forces we can neither see nor completely understand, and it is only through seeking Him and His will that we can overcome the desires that will lead to eternal death. “Whatever is has already been before; and Yahweh will call the past to account.” Ecclesiastes 3:15.
By: Debbie Reed