Come to Understanding

They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding,

and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. ó Isaiah 29:24

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,

and caused them to understand the reading. ó Nehemiah 8:8

September 14, 2010

Volume 9 Number 18

Passing Over the Brook Kidron: 

The Way to the Victory

Before He was betrayed and then crucified, Yahshua (Jesus) prayed that the Father would sanctify those who believe in Him through the truth of His Word:

17 Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.

18 As you have sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. -John 17

He continued praying, saying that He had declared and would continue to declare the name of the Father:

25 O righteous Father, the world has not known you: but I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me.

26 And I have declared to them your name, and will declare it: that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them. -John 17

After He had finished praying, Yahshua and His disciples passed over the Brook Kidron (also translated as "Cedron") to face His betrayer and the band of waiting captors sent by the religious authorities:

1 When Yahshua had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Kidron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples.

2 And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Yahshua often resorted there with his disciples.

3 Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. -John 18

The name "Kidron" means "dark" and is based on a Hebrew verb that means to mourn. The Brook Kidron was a place of sadness and mourning when David, the King of Israel, passed over it, fleeing from his own son, Absalom. The people of Israel wept as they passed over the brook with their king:

23 And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over: the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness. -2 Samuel 15

The Brook Kidron was also a symbol of victory over the works of Satan. That is where King Asa of Judah, after he had removed from the land the sodomites and idols made by his ancestors, destroyed the "idol in a grove" made by his queen mother:

11 And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, as did David his father.

12 And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made.

13 And also Maachah his mother, even her he removed from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove; and Asa destroyed her idol, and burnt it by the brook Kidron. -1 Kings 15

The Hebrew word that is translated as "grove" is hrva (asherah). Its meaning is as follows:

1) a Babylonian (Astarte)-Canaanite goddess (of fortune and happiness), the supposed consort of Baal, her images; 1a) the goddess, goddesses; 1b) her images; 1c) sacred trees or poles set up near an altar (see Online Bible Hebrew Lexicon, L. Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada, 2009)

The Hebrew word that is translated as "idol" in the "idol in a grove" is tulpm (miphletseth), which means:

1) horrid thing, horrible thing (see Online Bible Hebrew Lexicon)

In other words, the "horrible thing" that Asa destroyed was used for worshipping the goddess.

Most people would never think that they would ever worship the "horrible thing." However, such things may not appear horrible at all. They may appear to be pleasant and even beautiful. They may be like Satan, who is able to make himself beautiful, even transforming himself into "an angel of light:"

14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. -2 Corinthians 11

Even Abrahamís family had worshipped idols as gods. Yahweh, however, removed him from such practices:

2 And Joshua said to all the people, Thus says Yahweh God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the river in old times, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.

3 And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the river, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac. -Joshua 24

The attraction to the idol gods from Abrahamís homeland from the other side of the Euphrates River, which is the location of ancient Babel and Ur, was very strong. Even Jacobís wife, Rachel, stole idol images, called teraphim, from her father as she was moving to the Promised Land:

19 And Laban went to shear his sheep: and Rachel had stolen the images that were her fatherís. -Genesis 31

Likewise, when Israel left Egypt on their journey to the Promised Land, they were still attracted to images. During the brief absence of Moses while he was talking with Yahweh, Aaron even made an idol of the golden calf, which represented the Egyptian goddess:

4 And he received them from their hands, and fashioned it with an engraving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt. -Exodus 32

The desire to worship idols, especially those representing the goddess, was very strong for Israel and Judah. They made idols of the god, Baal, but it seemed that there was a special place in their hearts for idols of the goddess, which, in addition to "groves" or "asherah," were also called Ashtaroth:

13 And they forsook Yahweh, and served Baal and Ashtaroth. -Judges 2

Even after they repented, Israel would soon slip back into the worship of such idols:

6 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of Yahweh, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook Yahweh, and served not him. -Judges 10

Even Solomon, the great King of Israel who had built the temple dedicated to the name of Yahweh, slipped into the evil of worshipping the goddess later in his life:

5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.

6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of Yahweh, and went not fully after Yahweh, as did David his father. -1 Kings 11

After the united Kingdom of Israel was destroyed because of Solomonís sin, the northern tribes of the kingdom were given to Jeroboam and they retained the name "Israel." Fresh from Egypt, where he had been living in exile, Jeroboam was quick to set up the golden calf images, representing the Egyptian goddess, for Israel to worship:

28 Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said to them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold your gods, O Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt. -1 Kings 12

The southern tribes of the destroyed united kingdom of Israel were called Judah. Even though they had been entrusted with the Word of Yahweh, they ignored it and followed in the footsteps of Israel:

19 Also Judah kept not the commandments of Yahweh their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made. -2 Kings 17

They also soon succumbed to the temptation to worship the goddess:

18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke me to anger. -Jeremiah 7

Even though Asa had cleansed the land of Judah of sodomites, the idols, and even the idol in the grove, destroying them at the brook Kidron, they soon returned. After King Josiah of Judah read the Scriptures, he learned that the religious practices that he had inherited were wrong. Therefore, he took the grove of the goddess out of the house of Yahweh and burned it at the Brook Kidron:

6 And he brought out the grove from the house of Yahweh, outside Jerusalem, to the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and stamped it small to powder, and cast the powder thereof upon the graves of the children of the people.

7 And he broke down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of Yahweh, where the women wove hangings for the grove. -2 Kings 23

Those who are sacrificing to such gods, Yahweh explains in His Word, are really sacrificing to devils (demons) and not to God:

17 They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. -Deuteronomy 32

However, the works of Satan and his angels, the demons, were overcome by the blood of the Lamb:

11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. -Revelation 12

It was at the garden by the Brook Kidron, where so many idols had been destroyed, where Yahshua voluntarily surrendered Himself into the hands of the religious authorities. This was the first step toward His death as the Lamb of God that overcame the works of Satan. What is there in our lives that we should leave at the Brook Kidron?

 

 

 

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