Ever been disappointed in a loyal friend? Frustrated with lack of follow-through on a commitment? Or worse yet, has someone close to you broken a promise? Of course, all of us have. Unfortunately, people we trust go back on their word regularly, severed contracts and fragmented vows are an everyday occurrence. El-Birith is the name of God that means God of the Covenant, used of Baal in Judges 9:46, and probably used originally to refer to the God of Israel.
In Judges 8:33, a form of Ba’al-worship prevailed in Israel, particularly in Shechem. The term “Ba’al” is shown by the equivalent “El-Birith” to mean “the God of the Covenant.”
The idol Baal-birith was worshipped by the Jews after the death of Gideon. It was identical with Baal-zebub, “the ba’al of flies,” the god of Ekron. This idol was worshiped in the shape of a fly. The Jews were so addicted to his cult that they would carry an image of him in their pockets, producing it, and kissing it from time to time. Baal-zebub is called Baal-birith because the Jews were known to make a vow of devotion to the idol and refused to be apart from it for a single minute.
Sounds pretty disgusting, huh? To carry around an image of a fly in your pocket (I imagine a small stone or piece of wood carved into a fly shape) for the purpose of caressing, worshiping, and even kissing? Yuck. As a person who has recovered from a list of chemical dependencies, I am prone to becoming addicted to other things I think could help me manage my stress. There is something I carry in my purse that is a temptation and sits on the fence of becoming an addiction. I may not kiss my iPhone, but I pay it way too much attention when I am constantly checking it. I’ve decided to put boundaries on eyeing my iPhone. Please pray for me, OK? And I will pray for you, too. I will pray that we allow ourselves to be consumed with claiming God’s promises so we are not dependent on anything or anyone for handouts to make us feel better about ourselves. The only One who keeps every promise He has ever made to us is our covenant God: El-Birith.
The Bible confirms the fact: Our God is a covenant God—He always keeps His promises. Even when the fulfillment of these promises is still in the future and unseen, Christ-centered hope must be the foundation of our lives. Hard times come and hard times go, but God’s promises are forever. Here are a few for you to keep with you:
Psalm 56:3 “When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?”
Psalm 62:8 “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”
Lamentations 3:21–26 “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion, therefore I will wait for Him.”
Psalm 112:1–3 “How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying His commands. Their children will be successful everywhere; an entire generation of Godly people will be blessed.”
Dear El-Birith, you are the God of the Covenant. Thank you for keeping every promise you have ever made to me. Help me to meditate on your word today and claim your precious promises, so I may focus on you and your will. Thank you for your faithfulness. In Jesus’ name, amen.