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My Prophet Hat: Baal Names No Longer Spoken

This series of articles is taken from one book of prophecy named Hosea after its author.

Baal was the other man. God’s wife, Israel, was sneaking around with him. They weren’t even sneaking anymore. It was out in the open. The rendezvous was not the dirty motel on the outskirts of town. Israel’s lover was escorting her all around town without shame. The last thing a husband wants to hear is the name of his wife’s lover. That name is odious to him. In Hosea’s case it was even more offensive because the word “Baal” means “husband.” It is hard to imagine a worse situation than to have the woman you love with all your heart calling another man her husband. It makes my skin crawl. Here is what the text says: “In the coming day,” says the LORD, “you will call me ‘my husband’ instead of ‘my master.’ O Israel, I will cause you to forget your images of Baal; even their names will no longer be spoken.” (Hosea 2:16-17) A person cannot serve two masters. A woman cannot have two husbands. Who knows what Gomer was calling her lovers? “Honey.” “Sweetheart.” “Sugar daddy.” It must have been like fingernails on a blackboard to Hosea. It wasn’t always that way. “Baal” was a perfectly good word and applied to God as their husband and master. They even inserted the word “baal” into the names of their children. But the idol-worshippers coopted the name for their god. This happens. The rainbow symbol was originally a sign given by God to remind Him not to destroy the world again by water. The rainbow has been coopted. “Gay” used to be a perfectly fine girl’s name. The Jezebel and Elijah story of the contest on Mt. Camel in 1 Kings 18 should be read at this point.

There is evidence of name changes in the Bible. Ishbosheth, King Saul’s son who warred against David, is also called Eshbaal. (2 Samuel 2:9-10; 1 Chron.8:33) I suggest you do your own research on this. The point being that God was sick of hearing the word “baal.” How can a word be detestable to someone, even to God? We have words that I will not repeat here that are immediately detestable to some people. Most decent people try to avoid using those words. You can even lose your job if you utter some words. I fear there is a double standard. I cringe when I hear some words, but do you think anyone cares? I recently filled out a Neilson rating survey and they asked for comments. One comment I made was that there is too much profanity in TV shows. It serves no purpose that I can see. It is gratuitous. Why must Hollywood offend my ears? But wait! What about God’s ears? All the things we say we love when we often fail to tell God we love Him must hurt His heart deeply. Is He putting his hands over His ears? Does He tune us out just like I tune out offensive TV shows? Be careful little mouth what you say.

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