Brother Bob...I was just recently doing some research into just what the significance of baal worship is into the old testament when I came across Hosea 2:16-17. It reads:
"In that day," declares the LORD,
"you will call me 'my husband';
you will no longer call me 'my master' (or baal in Hebrew)....
I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips;
no longer will their names be invoked."
My question is: Does God dislike it when we refer to him as "God" and "Lord" and "Master"? B/c that's how I usually do it. I always call Him Lord in prayer and when I am speaking to Him. Should I stop and adopt a more...equal word, like say Father? What are your thoughts? It seems contradict the New Testament usage...Answer from Pastor Bob:
The context of Hosea 2 is that Israel was unfaithful to the Lord their God and the Israelites were following after other gods, like Baal. Hosea the prophet had this illustrated this in his own marriage, as his wife Gomer was unfaithful to him. So this was a pun on the name "Baal" because the word "baal" had a double meaning, as the word meant "master" and could be used by a wife to refer to her husband and could also be used as the name of the pagan Canaanite god. God considered Israel to be unfaithful to Him the way an adulterous wife is unfaithful to her husband. Thus the main point of Hosea 2:16-17 is that God was saying he wanted Israel's complete loyalty.
A similar analogy to Hosea 2:16-17 would be if an Arabic-speaking Muslim became a Christian. The word for "God" in Arabic is allah. However, Allah is used by Muslims for their God, and so the Arabic-speaking Christian might prefer to use another term, such as "Lord," to avoid sounding like he is still worshiping the God of Islam.
Regarding what you and I should call God in prayer, Jesus taught us in the Lord's Prayer to call Him "Father." He is also addressed as "Lord," "Master" and "God" in many passages. Any of these terms are appropriate for the Christian to pray. The key is that we address God with respect and love.