Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 14

Wrong religions in Judah

1 Kings 14:22-24

Many people in Judah turned away from the knowledge of the true God, who had established a relationship with Israel. They no longer respected him as the God who rescued their nation from their lives as slaves in Egypt.

Instead, they desired a religion, and a God or gods, who would provide wealth to them. Agriculture was important to them; so, they wanted a religion that based itself on nature. Such were the religions of ancient Canaan, and particularly the religion of Baal and Asherah.

These religions emphasised sex, and they had a close connection to the land. People offered animals as sacrifices (gifts) to their false gods on the high hills. They put up stone columns to their male god called Baal. They put up wooden poles for their female god called Asherah.

This religion encouraged wrong sex acts. Boys or young men were available for sex with men as part of the religion. Job 36:14 mentions the short lives of the boys or men who did this. In 1 Kings 18:28, the priests of this religion cut their own bodies with knives. It seems likely that they also took drugs.

These were the religions that God had warned his people so strongly against (Deuteronomy 12:1-4). It was because of these wicked religions that God acted against the former inhabitants of Canaan. God gave that land to Israel’s people – and he taught Israel’s people how to serve him in the way that is right and good.

Next part: King Shishak of Egypt attacks Jerusalem (1 Kings 14:25)


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