Your Own Personal Baal

In the imagination of their hearts, the sky god Baal looked down with longing upon the earth goddess Ashtoreth, overcome with desire toward her, he took her for himself, and through this union--creation sprang forth.

The peoples of Canaan, for their own safety, security, and the fulfilling of their own desires created a system to explain, control, and placate these elemental forces.  Much like we bend nature with technology to satisfy needs and passions, these ancients sought their own religious techniques based upon their own observation of their world.  

If Baal was angry, life, weather, and crops would go bad--so he needed something to soothe his restless heart.  Sacrifice was required to settle Baal and bring harmony once more.  This was not so much as worship as it was manipulation.  

Sexuality, fertility rites, and debauchery were acts that prompted Baal and his goddess Ashtoreth to move in favor toward man.  And Israel was attracted to this and tempted by it, for not only could passions run amok in this system, it provided control and power over ones life.  You had your own god at your disposal to grant wishes and bring gifts upon request, if you knew the right steps and formulas, binding the power of the elements for your own desires.  

Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Moses, and Joshua, was not like this--He was wilder and unable to be domesticated into a beast of burden.  This is harder stuff.  Worship is worship not manipulation.  Worship does not satisfy His wrath, it provides union with Him, but will cost you your life.  Success, fruitfulness, and goodness may come as by-products of this relationship but they are no guarantees, except one--He is your God and you are His people.  
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