Archive for the ‘Israel’ Category

Most, if not all of the folks that have ever picked up a bible is somewhat familiar with King Ahab, Jezebel and Elijah, but how many people are familiar with Elijah’s propensity for showmanship in his service for The Lord?

In both 1st and 2nd Kings, we read of Ahab, the seventh King of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Israel had some very crummy kings, but Ahab wins a nomination for one of the worst of the lot. One of his first horrible decisions he made was to align himself with Sidon, by marrying Jezebel, the daughter of the king of Sidon. When Jezebel moved to Israel, she just happened to bring the worship of her gods Baal and his consort Asherah with her, along with 450 priests of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah. Baal was a chief god amongst her people and Asherah was some sort of “mother god of fertility”.

It is pretty clear to me reading the account of King Ahab and Jezebel that Ahab’s wife Jezebel dominated him and ruled the roost while Ahab seemed to do nothing but pout when he didn’t get his way. Not only did Jezebel introduce these strange gods to the land, but she made sure the worship of Baal was enforced throughout the land of Israel and set up altars and groves of worship in the high places around the landscape and ordered the prophets of God be killed1. One of the attributes of Baal was control of the weather and the people were supposed to offer sacrifices to him to create favorable conditions for their crops and animals. Before you know it, we find Ahab building a temple to Baal in Samaria, the capitol of the northern kingdom of Israel, and it was after this abhorrence that The Lord decided enough was enough and sent His prophet Elijah to have a chat with King Ahab about actions and his gods.

To prove which god actually elicited control of the weather, Elijah informed Ahab that the One True God was shutting up the heavens (which means no rain) for three years, causing a huge drought throughout the land. For three years the prophets of Baal went through all their rituals and gyrations to try and make it rain and for three years the only thing they achieved was to look like a bunch of clowns before the starving populace whom also had turned their backs on The Lord.

Finally at the end of three long, painful years, God sent Elijah back to Israel to see King Ahab and to issue a challenge to the 450 priests of Baal, as well as 400 prophets of Asherah to come to Mount Carmel to see who’s god could actually control the weather by making it rain and to save face, Ahab had his priests and prophets agree to the challenge.

Almost like an old west showdown, the day of the challenge came and on Mount Carmel Elijah challenged the priests, in front of a horde of spectators, to see whose god could build a fire under their respective altars. For most of the day, the priests and prophets of Baal prayed, hooted, hollered and slashed themselves while Elijah mocked their efforts as he lounged around sipping tea, doing crosswords and playing solitaire.

Finally, by late afternoon, it was Elijah’s turn and after he rebuilt the broken down altar of The Lord, and had his servants douse the altar with so much water it filled the surrounding trenches. After all this had been done he prayed to the one true God and The Lord sent down fire that consumed the burnt sacrifice on the altar as well as all of the water around it. Suddenly the people that had allowed themselves to be duped by the false priests and prophets, started praising the Lord and Elijah ordered them to seize all 850 priests and prophets which he then killed by his sword.

Afterward, Elijah told Ahab the Lord decided to end the drought and it began to rain upon the land for the first time in 36 months. Now I don’t know where Jezebel was throughout all this but it apparently came as a shock to her when Ahab informed her that all her priests and prophets had been put to death by Elijah, which didn’t go over very well with her, for she swiftly sent word to Elijah (to paraphrase) that by sundown tomorrow either he would be dead or she would be (again, it sounds like a gunfight challenge). Elijah and his servants escaped to Judah and Jezebel wasn’t able to exact her revenge, though her promise that it would be either him or her would come back to bite her in the end.

Of course, even though it looks as I am giving Elijah the credit, all of the prophesies and miracles that Elijah performed came directly from God and I believe Elijah’s gift of flair and drama came directly from the Lord also. All praise should always go to The Lord, regardless whose hand or mouth is being used to transmit His will. Elijah had a challenging, fruitful and spirit filled life in service for The Lord, but this awesome display of showmanship is most definitely Elijah’s greatest hits.

Jim 7-12-21

(1) The man in charge of Ahab’s house, Obadiah, was a God fearing man and secretly hid 100 prophets of The Lord in caves, thus saving them while apparently neither Ahab nor Elijah were aware they were still alive.

With the volatile situation in the Middle East all over the news lately, I have recently become interested in the historical links between the conquest of Canaan and the surrounding area today and so I decided to do a little research.

We learn in the bible about the covenants the Lord has made with His firstborn children, the children of Israel. We also read in several places in the scriptures, references to the Jews and the conquest of Canaan, the promised land, where the Israelites fell short of doing what God commanded them to do whenever they were sent to attack and conquer the land of Canaan. Let us take a quick look at these areas and see what we can glean from the price the Jews paid, and continue to pay, for the lack of completing what The Lord commanded them to do…to kill and conquer and to not take hostages in the battles for these areas.

First, let’s look at the region of Bashan of the bible. A major city in the region of Bashan is Golan. We know the area today as the Golan Heights with Golan still as the major city of this hill country. Og of the Amorites was one the major king of the area during Joshua’s time and as you recall, Joshua didn’t utterly wipe out all the Amorites, these highland mountaineers are described as powerful people of great stature, “like the height of the cedars”1. In fact, Joshua got duped by the Gibeonites, a branch of the Amorites, into signing a treaty with them, against advice, and later The Lord ended up punishing His people for not honoring this ill-fated treaty when Saul killed a bunch of the Gibeonites and King David had to decide which punishment the Israelites would receive in 2 Samuel chapter 21. It may have been a horrible treaty, but this is an example that shows The Lord always honors His treaties and covenants.

Next, let’s look at Hebron2.. During the time of Joshua and the Canaan conquests, Hebron was under the control of three sons of Anak who was considered a descendant of the nephilim (Numbers 13:33) and also referred to as Rephaite3 (Rephaim) Anak is also linked to the name Anax in Greek mythology which was a king of giants and considered about 18 feet tall.Today, Hebron is the largest city in The West Bank.

OK, how about Gaza…Gaza is located along the western coast of Canaan (Israel) bordering Egypt and after Joshua and the tribe of Judah failed to completely eliminate all the Anakim (nephilim) from here, as well as Gath and Ashdod, and the rest of the the area as they were directed (as we read about in Joshua 11:22), it became a major city of the Philistines and remained a major thorn in the side of the Jews all through the book of Judges. Gaza happened to have been the city where Samson pulled the temple down around him in Judges 16:21.

A couple more…

Gath was the hometown of Goliath and his four brothers and David took care of those guys.

Ashdod is another coastal city near Gaza and was the city of Philistia where the Ark of the Covenant was taken and it kept pulling down the statue of Dagon, night after night…too bad they didn’t have video cameras…it would have been a fantastic thing to watch…

What do all these areas have in common? They are all locations within Canaan where Joshua was ordered by the Lord to utterly destroy the kingdoms within the land of Canaan. I used to have problems with apparent cruelty of Our Lord to kill not only the soldiers, but the women and children of these nations within the borders of Canaan until I studied about the nephilim and I realized the purpose behind the orders (destroy all signs of the corruption of the human genome). I truly feel because they didn’t fully carry out the orders of The Lord’s commandment and utterly destroy their enemies that lived in the above strongholds four thousand years ago. The Israelites are discovering that the dweller of the areas are once again a major thorn in the side of God’s people. I believe there is more to this than just the failure to eradicate all traces of the nephilim. We have found from the bible that demons are territorial and the failure to wipe out the races of the nephilim within their borders also meant that whatever demons (demons would be a study in its own right) Satan also planted in those areas are most likely still there doing their bidding for their master, just as they would have in the Bronze Age when Joshua fell short of fully obeying The Lord. The results we read about in the papers on a daily basis.

What is that you say? You don’t know who the nephilim are? Look here: http://www.nwcreation.net/nephilim.html

God Bless,

Jim

1http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amorite

2 http://www.burlingtonnews.net/hebron.html

3http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rephaite

4http://www.theoi.com/Gigante/GiganteAnaxAsterios.html