In exposing and analysing the ruling spirit, Belial we need to understand the spirit of idolatry which he oversees. In 1 Cor 10:20 the Apostle Paul gave us insight into idolatry by saying that when sacrifices are made to idols, it is a sacrifice to a devil. Devil translated in our text means a demonic entity. The primary thought that Paul expresses is that when people sacrifice to idols, they actually enter into fellowship with the demonic.
This means that we enter into communion, partnership and become participants with diabolical, evil spiritual powers. Deuteronomy 13:13-17 gives further insight into the spirit of idolatry.
Deut 13:13 ‘Corrupt men have gone out from among you and enticed the inhabitants of their city, saying, “Let us go and serve other gods”‘ — which you have not known — 14 then you shall inquire, search out, and ask diligently. And if it is indeed true and certain that such an abomination was committed among you, 15 you shall surely strike the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying it, all that is in it and its livestock — with the edge of the sword. 16 And you shall gather all its plunder into the middle of the street, and completely burn with fire the city and all its plunder, for the Lord your God. It shall be a heap forever; it shall not be built again. 17 So none of the accursed things shall remain in your hand, that the Lord may turn from the fierceness of His anger and show you mercy, have compassion on you and multiply you, just as He swore to your fathers, NKJV
Deuteronomy 13 is the first mention of the workings of Belial in the Word of God. Our text describes corrupt men enticing the inhabitants of their city to go and serve other gods. The Word of God describes these type of corrupt men as “children of Belial”. A child of Belial is an individual or group of people who has opened an entry point for the demonic in their lives. They have opened their souls to Belial, to be influenced by him. They become instruments of Belial.
The Hebrew meaning of the word idol is “good for nothing, no value, of naught”. This is what worshipping an idol really is, it’s worthless. Idols have no value, it is demonically empowered, and will never satisfy. It’s ultimate end is that it destroys spiritually.
The principle aim of Belial is to draw people away from worshipping the true and only God. To turn their affection and devotion from God to another worthless cause. One of our inherent impulses is the desire to worship. Belial aims for you and I to worship something worthless. He wants you to give your time, body and strength, soul and spirit to something that is of no value.
Absalom in 2 Sam 15:5-6 typifies the workings of Belial. Vs 5 And so it was, whenever anyone came near to bow down to him, that he would put out his hand and take him and kiss him. 6 In this manner Absalom acted toward all Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. NKJV
The Today’s English Version of the bible says that this is how he won their loyalty. The stealing of our hearts to follow idols is a process of enticement and seduction. It seems pleasant to the flesh and also pleasing to the eye. In other words, idolatry is not always presented as evil and destructive. It is packaged as beneficial and good.
Paul also makes a profound statement in 1 Tim 4:1 where he states “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” KJV
To “seduce” means to lead astray, to persuade to disobedience or disloyalty, to lead astray by permission or false promises, to attract, to lure. This is what Paul alludes to when he spoke about the great apostasy in 2 Thessalonians 2 verse 3. Here we see the thought of the abandonment of a previous loyalty, defection.
The person we look at daily in the mirror can also become an idol. Self-will has become a primary object of worship. The idol of self, where we elevate our own will above the will of God in willful disobedience to God. This is the idol of the day. Self-interest above self-denial has led many astray from following the will of God. It must be noted that no one can fully walk in obedience to the will of God without surrendering your will.
My pause for thought is that we would recognise the thing or person that has stolen our hearts from fully loving God as per His commandment. Judge the idols in our lives and destroy the influence of Belial in this area of our lives.
Please leave a comment below. I’ll gladly respond to a question or comment.
R v Staden