Who is the Goddess Asherah?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, July 25, 2016 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

We briefly interrupt our walk through the book of Judges to take a look at the goddess Asherah. Why? This goddess keeps coming up throughout the history of Israel, and you may be surprised at the fact that she is still worshipped today as well.

There are many references to Asherah and Asherah poles throughout the historical books of the Old Testament. Asherah is the name of a Canaanite goddess of sensuality and fertility. Asherah is believed to be the mother of 70 gods, of which Baal is the most well-known. The name Asherah was used to refer to both the goddess and the object of worship. Asherah’s symbol was a tree without branches and her name can also be translated as “grove,” which is why places of worship for Asherah were often a pole placed sticking out of the ground.

Asherah poles existed throughout Israel, both in the northern and southern kingdoms, when the people were straying from God and worshiping false Gods. We see a number of times in the Old Testament that God commanded Israel to tear down all of the Asherah poles and stop worshipping her. At times they did, but it seemed to always creep back into their lifestyle when they allowed themselves to worship pagan gods. They even tried to brush it off as not being a big deal, as they often tried to incorporate worship of Asherah and other false gods into worship of the one true God. They’re worshiping the true God, so what would a little false god worship alongside that hurt, right?

One key fact for us to note here, which is true both for Israel and for us, is that we have the choice of who or what to worship in our lives. We can choose the one true God, or we can choose out of any number of pagan gods. It’s always our choice. Do you choose to read your Bible, or do you choose to watch a sitcom on TV? Do you choose to pray and spend time hearing from God, or do you go see the latest movie? Do you choose to meet with a church congregation to worship God together on Sunday morning, or do you sleep in? It’s always a choice.

The gods we worship today do not necessarily have specific names like Asherah or Baal, nor do we often have shrines set up for them. But remember that Asherah was the goddess of sensuality and fertility. If you turn on your TV, what’s the likelihood that you’ll see something sensual on it? Pretty high, I’d say. Commercials, sitcoms, and even the nightly news seem to operate on the slogan that “Sex sells.” Everyone wants to sell you their product or get you to watch their show, and they use sex to do it. Huge million-dollar industries are built on the premise of sex and sensuality. Production and usage of Internet pornography is at an all time high. Kids are being exposed to high amounts of nudity and sensuality and increasingly younger ages.

You may say that’s just today’s culture, but remember that who or what we worship is a choice for every person. We have to allow ourselves and our culture to worship false gods, and doing so is dangerous. Once that door is opened, it is very hard to close it.

Have you opened that door in your life to allow false gods in? Is the goddess Asherah still around and being worshipped today? What do you think?

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