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and rain – as well as the animals and birds   interviewed about their philosophy of
        around them. The assistance of these gods   life, states, “I am not really religious; I
        was invoked after death to make prepara-  am more spiritual. I do believe, though, in
        tions and seek protection for the journey   living by the Golden Rule.” The Golden
        through the afterlife. The treasures from   Rule – doing unto others as you would
        the tomb of Tutankhamun affirm the fear   have them do unto you – sounds like an
        and uncertainty that dominated the think-  admirable principle (it is based on Scrip-
        ing of the people of his time.        ture, Lev 19:18,34; Mat 7:12; Luk 6:31).
        Canaanite gods                        The problem is that it can leave God out
          Many of their gods were associated   of the reckoning altogether and promote
        with fertility rites and immorality of all   men’s opinions to center stage. It is pliable
        kinds. One of the most evil and degrading   enough to mean whatever people want it
        practices was the sacrificing of children. In   to mean and yet remain otherwise free to
        the time of the judges, Israel manifested   live as they like.
        a depressing habit of backsliding and re-  The Greatness of Jehovah
        verting to the false gods of the peoples to   We conclude on a positive note. In the
        whom they should have been an example.   many instances of confrontation between
        God acted in love when He disciplined   the God of Israel and various false gods,
        them. When they repented, He forgave   Jehovah was supreme. The magicians
        them and raised up a deliverer – only for   of Egypt could neither match the signs
        them to fall again.                   Moses showed them nor overcome the
        Today’s gods                          plagues that God brought upon the land
          When people wish to assert their inde-  “that the Egyptians may know that I am
        pendence from God, they turn to gods of   the Lord” (Exo 14:4). Later in their history,
        their own making. There is in the heart   the Philistine god, Dagon, fell down from
        of man a void that only the true God can   his pedestal and shattered on the ground
        fill. When men turn away from Him, that   before the presence of the ark: “And when
        void remains and demands a substitute   the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they
        presence. Men must worship someone or   said, The ark of the God of Israel shall not
        something.                            abide with us: for his hand is sore upon
          There are others whose view of God   us, and upon Dagon our god” (1Sa 5:7).
        is skewed. To them, He is a God of con-  Later still, the prophets of Baal were
        venience who accommodates them and    soundly defeated on Mount Carmel when
        makes them feel comfortable. His gener-  their gods were shown to be powerless.
        ous love excuses their sin. He is not so   Elijah’s sacrifice, drenched in water, was
        holy as to hold them accountable or judge   totally consumed when the fire of the Lord
        them. He is expected to be there in an   fell from heaven. “And when all the people
        emergency when they fall into difficulties   saw it, they fell on their faces: and they
        and need Him; but otherwise, they can do   said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord,
        without Him most of the time and man-  he is the God” (1Ki 18:39). We should
        age on their own, especially when life is   confidently  and  thankfully  affirm  the
        going well.                           words spoken by God Himself as quoted
          Another familiar assertion is that of   by Isaiah: “I am the Lord, and there is none
        the celebrity or personality who, when   else, there is no God beside me” (Isa 45:5).

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