Groves of Worship
“And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar.”
One of the first acts that led to Gideon’s leadership of faith was that he cut down the groves and cast down the idol of Baal at night. This was a courageous act of Gideon, even if he did it in the night. Gideon knew that Baal worship had become a common practice in Israel, and to cut down the groves and to throw down Baal would lead to the anger of those who worshipped this pagan god.
When the men of the city where the grove of Baal woke up, they saw that Baal was thrown down and that Baal’s grove had been destroyed. These men found out that Gideon was the man responsible for this act, and they demanded of his father to turn him over so they could kill him. An amazing statement was made by Gideon’s father to these men when he said, “Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him?… if he be a god, let him plead for himself…” Joash was saying to these men that if what they were doing was so right, they would not have to defend their position because the works and fruit of Baal would prove their position to be true.
We live in compromising times in our days when many churches have chosen new paths to walk instead of continuing to walk the old paths. Many church services today have become nothing more than rock concerts to appease the flesh of sinful believers. Many sermons preached in these groves of flesh are nothing more than self-help sermons that never point out the sins of those who do wrong. It seems as if many believers would rather appease the flesh in these groves of worship than they would to please their God by staying away from the world.
Sadly, the men of God who sound the alarm about these groves of worship have become the target of many pragmatic ministers who would rather allow those they lead to feel comfortable in their sins than they would to point out the captivity and destruction to where their sin leads. I would like to say to those who defend their fleshly and worldly groves of worship that if what you are doing is so right, why must you become so angry against those who still practice the old paths? The reason you must defend your groves is because you have no works to prove that your groves are right. You may have larger congregations in auditoriums that look more like a bar scene or rock concert than those who stay with the old paths of worship, but that doesn’t mean you are right.
My friend, the only reason someone must plead for these groves of worship is because they have no spiritual fruit to show their worthiness. The only fruit of these modern-day groves of worship is a worldly generation who embraces worldliness over godliness. The only defense that any way of worship has is not the size of the congregation, but the fruit it produces. These modern-day groves of worship would not have to be so belligerent with the defense of their worldly lifestyle if they had godly fruit to show for what they are doing.
The fruit of the old paths is plenteous. Righteous living, holy worship, and old paths soul winning and preaching still produces a godly fruit. Let me encourage you to continue to walk down the old paths, and don’t get enamored by the groves of worship that lead to destruction.