Here is one example of a sacrilege in the news this week. (Left, Asherah graven image)
Discovery News: God’s Wife Edited Out of the Bible — Almost
“God had a wife, Asherah, whom the Book of Kings suggests was worshiped alongside Yahweh in his temple in Israel, according to an Oxford scholar. In 1967, Raphael Patai was the first historian to mention that the ancient Israelites worshiped both Yahweh and Asherah. The theory has gained new prominence due to the research of Francesca Stavrakopoulou, who began her work at Oxford and is now a senior lecturer in the department of Theology and Religion at the University of Exeter. “After years of research specializing in the history and religion of Israel, however, I have come to a colorful and what could seem, to some, uncomfortable conclusion that God had a wife,” she added. Stavrakopoulou bases her theory on ancient texts, amulets and figurines unearthed primarily in the ancient Canaanite coastal city called Ugarit, now modern-day Syria. All of these artifacts reveal that Asherah was a powerful fertility goddess.”
One other headline goes like this: Fertility Goddess Asherah: Was ‘God’s Wife’ Edited Out of the Bible?
Headlines worded like that let us see how much the world disdains, hates, and mocks the One True God. They do not consider the bible the truth nor do they consider it authoritative. Instead they strive to find the hidden messages and clues to doctrines more in line with man’s selfish notions, and which that relieve the pricking they feel from the Holy Spirit. That this author ‘discovered’ the “truth” extant of the bible is telling. They say:
“This seems to be in part driven by a modern desire, clearly inspired by the Biblical narratives, to hide Asherah behind a veil once again,” Wright says.”
Their attitude is that there are some truths outside of the bible that were removed due to man’s agenda, but these truths are found once again due to the diligence of historians, archaeologists, geologists, and the like. They do not accept that the bible is true in and of itself, because they do not like what it says. Thank goodness these historians are good enough detectives to be able to save the known scraps about Asherah from total editing out of the bible! Not.
Let’s take a look at definitions of blasphemy and sacrilege:
Barnes’ notes on blasphemy: “The word “blaspheme” originally means to speak evil of anyone; to injure by words; to blame unjustly. When applied to God, it means to speak of him unjustly; to ascribe to him acts and attributes which he does not possess; or to speak impiously or profanely. It also means to say or do anything by which his name or honor is insulted, or which conveys an “impression” unfavourable to God.”
Eaton’s Bible Dictionary: sacrilege- The sin or crime of violating or profaning sacred things; the alienating to laymen, or to common purposes, what has been appropriated or consecrated to religious persons or uses.
John MacArthur says in a sermon on idolatry, ” “The issue here is an issue of sacrilege. All false religion is demon worship. Listen, now remember an idol is nothing. You can carve an idol out of wood, you can make an idol out of stone, you can make an idol out of silver, you can make one out of gold. You can do whatever you want to paint one on a wall. You can form one out of marble, whatever it is. When you’re done with it, it’s nothing. But the religion and the ideology that it stands for is the teaching of demons. It is a lie from the pit. It is the doctrine of demons coming from seducing spirits. So that what happens is demons impersonate the idol and you worship a demon in the idol, though you don’t know it. It is a demon who creates the religion, who conducts the relationship with the worshiper. It is demon communion.”
MacArthur was speaking of Manasseh in 2 Kings 21:3 “Manasseh’s father, Hezekiah, had destroyed the places where gods were worshiped, but Manasseh rebuilt them. He built altars for Baal, and he made an Asherah idol as Ahab king of Israel had done. Manasseh also worshiped all the stars of the sky and served them.” In ancient lore, Asherah and El, the highest God, were consorts. Their son was supposedly Baal, which you know well from the bible.
And make no mistake, the Old Testament gods are not gone. Satan still perpetuates them and recycles them. In Solomon’s day it was Molech. Josiah’s day it was Asherah. In Paul’s day it was Diana. In our day, Molech has become “Abortion.”
For those who may be scratching their heads as to why I’m spending time on this, it is because it is a big deal to God. His FIRST Commandment is to declare Himself the One True God and that we shall not not put any other gods before Him.(Ex 20:3-4).
Time and again in the bible God said not to bow down to any images. Idolatry is a serious offense. It is not old-fashioned. It is not gone by. It is not dry and dusty and out of fashion. It is forbidden. It was forbidden then and it is forbidden now. To promote and accept that God had a wife means you believe He lied. Do they not believe Psalm 81:9? “There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god.” ? Do they not believe Deuteronomy 8:19 “And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.”? Do they not believe Jeremiah 5:19 “And it shall come to pass, when ye shall say, Wherefore doeth the LORD our God all these things unto us? then shalt thou answer them, Like as ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not yours.” ?
I echo David, “O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever? (Psalms 74:10)
Not forever, but until the fullness of the iniquity runs its course. Matthew 24:4-5 and Matthew 24:24 remind us that many will come in Jesus name but will be deceivers and do false miracles and call themselves messiahs. 2 Thess 2:9 repeats this warning and reminder. 2 Timothy 4:3-4. “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”