Baal is one of the names mentioned in the Bible specifically the Old Testament. The name is a title which means “owner” or “lord”. Baal is known as a god associated with storm and fertility god. In the Bible, God warned the Israelites against the worship of Baal and anytime they do, he punished them severely. So who was Baal? Why was God against its worship? Let’s find out from the Bible.
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Who Was Baal?
Baal is mostly associated with Canaanites and Phoenicians. It is also known as a fertility god and has the shape of a bull or ram. During the movement of the Israelites from Egypt to the promised land, the worship of foreign gods specifically Baal was a struggle. They begin to copy the lifestyle of the locals and so were punished several times for turning their backs on God.
There are several places in the Bible which talk about the worship of Baal. Let us read some below.
- And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.- Judges 2:13
- And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him.- 1 Kings 16:31
- And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD [be] God, follow him: but if Baal, [then] follow him. And the people answered him not a word.- 1 Kings 18:21
Why Is God Against The Worship of Baal?
In Exodus 20, the Bible list what we call “The 10 commandments” which talks about the sinful acts God hates. The first two of these commandments talk about the worship of other gods.
1. You shall have no other gods before me.
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images.
In the book of Judges, God punished those who broke the universal rule and worshipped these false gods. Whenever they change their hearts and throw away the foreign gods, God appoints Prophets and other people like Gideon, Sampson, and Deborah to save them.