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Archive for October 24th, 2017


The idol Baal

Nehemiah 12 and 13: Strength

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

This might well be the cry of any of the faithful ones who seek to do God’s will in the midst of a crazy and alluring world.  When we read the closing chapters of Nehemiah, the reformer, rebuilder and administrator, we hear the plea which might come from any of us who struggle to right a foundering ship.

Nehemiah remembers that the Empire fell when Solomon began to marry with foreign queens who were worshippers of Baal rather than followers of the Jewish faith.  He worries that after all the sorrow, pain, sweat and tears of the post-exile return and rebuilding . . . these men may be wandering back into the very life styles which brought about the downfall of the kingdom and sent them into exile in the first place.  We hear Nehemiah’s plea that the Lord remember his efforts in chapter 13 verses 14 and 31.  “Remember this to my credit!”

This plea to do God’s will in the face of easy temptations to slip into life patterns which do not witness to God’s presence among us is heard in today’s MAGNIFICAT Morning Intercessions:

When silence is more attractive than fidelity to the truth: My strength, make haste to help me!

When approval is more desirable than perseverance in good: My strength, make haste to help me

When safety is more appealing than suffering for righteous’ sake: My strength, make haste to help me!

Temple of Baal Shamen, Palmyra, Syria

When we feel ourselves or others slipping into old, comfortable but dangerous patterns, we might want to quickly utter this petition of . . . My strength, make haste to help me!  And we may want to echo Nehemiah as he says: Remember this in my favor, O my God!

Cameron, Peter John. “Prayer for the Morning.” MAGNIFICAT. 10.5 (2008). Print.  

A Favorite from May 10, 2008.

For more on the Temple of Baal, click on the image or visit: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Baal-ancient-deity 

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