Israel was a fence jumper. Hopping back and forth as they worshiped God and Baal.
God wanted to keep Israel a pure nation set apart to Himself, so He commanded them not to make covenants with other nations, to ensure they would not be tempted by other suitors and intermarry with them and, therefore, worship other gods.
It didn’t work. Moses even tried to persuade them, “O Israel, listen: Jehovah is our God, Jehovah alone. You must love Him with all your heart, soul, and might.” (Deut. 6:4-5 NLT) But they ignored Moses and God by making covenants with those around them and marrying into those forbidden nations.
So as not to anger the prophets of God or the prophets of Jezebel, Israel bowed down to both God and Baal and ended up dividing their affections, time, and worship between the two. Actually making them double-hearted.
Elijah asked them, “How long will you be divided between two ways of thinking? If the Lord is God, follow Him. But if Baal is God, then follow him.” (1 Kings 18:21 NLV)
According to the definitions, the question could be stated this way: How much longer will you waver and jump back and forth between two divided thoughts?
The meaning of Baal’s name comes from another Hebrew word ba’al, which basically means a title for any person who owned something, a possessor, master, lord, owner, husband, or married. It comes from the root word ba’al, meaning to be master, rule or lord over, possess, own, be husband, or to marry.
Essentially, Baal owned the people who worshiped him and was joined to them in oneness as in marriage. Worshiping Baal implied ownership rather than relationship.
The take-away? That which we worship, we are joined to it, becoming one with it, as married to it.
Which side of the fence are we on? The world’s side or God’s side? We cannot live on both sides of the fence.
When Israel displayed their shameless conduct in the face of their heavenly Husband, God said, “My covenant…they broke, though I was a husband to them.” (Jer. 31:32b NKJV)
In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul showed the same godly concern over their relationship with unbelievers because of the unbelievers’ false gods. Though I’m not addressing a believer partnering with an unbeliever, the same truth applies.
Paul warned them, “How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil?” (2 Cor. 6:14b-15a NLT)
The Old Testament prophet Amos similarly asked, “Will two walk together unless they are agreed?” (Amos 3:3 Masoretic Text) The Hebrew word for agreed also means to make appointment to meet, to betroth, to engage as for marriage, and so on. Interesting!
What we walk with, as what we worship, we are joined with, become one with. We either walk in agreement with God as our heavenly Husband or we are espoused to something else. There is no fence-sitting or fence-hopping!
Scripture cautions us, “Shun (keep clear away from, avoid by flight if need be) any sort of idolatry (of loving or venerating anything more than God).” (1 Cor. 10:14 Amp) Anything! If anything is dearer to our hearts than the Lord, then it is an idol and it threatens our relationship with our heavenly Bridegroom.
We say we love the Lord with all our hearts, souls, and minds. The problem is we say we love chocolate or ice cream or fall days, our jobs or our car, horse, or fishing boat, in the same way, and sometimes we say we love those things with more passion. Where is the passion for our Bridegroom?
We cannot be double-minded as the Israelites were. God said, “I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God Who will not share your affection with any other god!” (Deut. 5:9 NLT)
A heart yoked together with the Bridegroom in a holy union—one undivided in its affection, giving Him its full allegiance, without infidelity, hypocrisy, or unbelief—this is His desire for His Bride.
As it has been said, “If He is not the Lord of all, then He is not the Lord at all!”
Do you have a double heart or a double mind, as two spouses?
Have you been worshiping something other than the Lord?
Have you been fence jumping lately?
At a time of physical upheaval in 2000, Lynn Mosher felt led of the Lord to take up her pen and write. With this new passion, she has embraced her mission to reach others through Christ-honoring literature, encouraging them in their walk and offering comfort through the written word. Lynn lives with her hubby (since 1966) in their Kentucky nest, emptied of three chicklets, and expanded by three giggly grand-chicklets, and an inherited dog. You can find out more about Lynn by visiting her website, Heading Home.