The ancient Semitic peoples of the eastern Mediterranean region—the Canaanites, Amorites, and Arameans (Syrians)—lived in constant need of water for their animals and their crops. They knew that they needed divine help for their survival, so they developed an elaborate mythology about a god they named Baal. Baal would give the rainfall that they needed, and his sister/wife Asherah would grant fertility to the earth and livestock if they were properly appeased.
I used to wonder why Baal worship was so durable in the Old Testament era and why it was so intriguing to the Israelites. Easy for me to say—my region gets 35-40 inches of rain a year, not 8 inches. The Lord’s prophets had to remind the Israelites constantly that it was not Baal who kept them alive: “Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime; it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms” (Zechariah 10:1).
Today Satan doesn’t bother tempting people with Baal mythology. He’s getting a lot of mileage from encouraging people to venerate the god Science and see our planet as our Mother—you know, as in Mother Earth. When you see heavy clouds gathering above you, feel the barometric pressure changing, sense the wind picking up, and smell that pre-rain smell, look up and thank the God of heaven who is going to keep us alive another day. Water still is life for the people of the earth.
He and he alone is the Lord of the universe, and that includes the weather.
Pastor Mark Jeske brought the good news of Jesus Christ to viewers of Time of Grace for 18 years. He is currently the senior pastor at St. Marcus Church, a thriving multicultural congregation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mark is the author of several books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics. He and his wife, Carol, have four adult children.
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