ST JOHN PAUL II Psalm 49, Verse 17 Do not FEAR when a man becomes rich, when the wealth of his house grows great. The next verse ...
Sunday, April 2, 2017
Monday, April 3, 2017
Judges, Chapter 6, Verse 1-2
1 The Israelites did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, who therefore delivered them into the power of Midian for seven years, 2 so that Midian held Israel subject. From fear of Midian the Israelites made dens in the mountains, the caves, and the strongholds.
Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil;
for you are at my side.
One does wonder; what was the evil that the Israelite's did in the sight of the Lord?
Answer: Baal was the name of the supreme god worshiped in ancient Canaan and Phoenicia. The practice of Baal worship infiltrated Jewish religious life during the time of the Judges (Judges 3:7), became widespread in Israel during the reign of Ahab (1 Kings 16:31-33) and also affected Judah (2 Chronicles 28:1-2). The word baal means “lord”; the plural is baalim. In general, Baal was a fertility god who was believed to enable the earth to produce crops and people to produce children. Different regions worshiped Baal in different ways, and Baal proved to be a highly adaptable god. Various locales emphasized one or another of his attributes and developed special “denominations” of Baalism. Baal of Peor (Numbers 25:3) and Baal-Berith (Judges 8:33) are two examples of such localized deities.
According to Canaanite mythology, Baal was the son of El, the chief god, and Asherah, the goddess of the sea. Baal was considered the most powerful of all gods, eclipsing El, who was seen as rather weak and ineffective. In various battles Baal defeated Yamm, the god of the sea, and Mot, the god of death and the underworld. Baal’s sisters/consorts were Ashtoreth, a fertility goddess associated with the stars, and Anath, a goddess of love and war. The Canaanites worshiped Baal as the sun god and as the storm god—he is usually depicted holding a lightning bolt—who defeated enemies and produced crops. They also worshiped him as a fertility god who provided children. Baal worship was rooted in sensuality and involved ritualistic prostitution in the temples. At times, appeasing Baal required human sacrifice, usually the firstborn of the one making the sacrifice (Jeremiah 19:5). The priests of Baal appealed to their god in rites of wild abandon which included loud, ecstatic cries and self-inflicted injury (1 Kings 18:28).
Aids in Battle  The “Our Father” is a battle cry
In this prayer, Christ has just spoken of the Evil One, placing us on alert before the battle, reminding us of our enemy, and keeping us from negligence. “For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are Yours” (see Mt 6: 13).
· The kingdom belongs to God, we should fear no one? For no one can withstand Him or tear apart His Empire.
· “The power is Yours,” Christ says. For this reason, no matter how many forms your weakness may take, you may still rightly be confident in the battle.
· “The glory is Yours.” Not only can God free you from the dangers you face; He can also make you glorious and outstanding in battle. His power is great and His glory is beyond telling— they are both limitless and never come to an end. See how He has in every way anointed you, His champion, and surrounded you with confidence? ST. JOHN
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