Guarding Against Bad Yeast

“‘Be careful,’ Jesus warned them. ‘Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.’”

– Mark 8:15

There’s a Biblical principle that Jesus speaks about using the analogy of yeast, which is an agent that causes bread to rise. Interestingly, it only takes a small amount of this substance to spread through an entire batch of dough. In life, this speaks to the power of one person or spirit to affect an entire group, whether for better or worse. I think about the Old Testament figure of Jezebel, who was married to King Ahab, who happened to be Israel’s most evil king. Queen Jezebel was from Sidon, and when she moved to her new home, she brought with her the worship of two prominent idols – Baal and Asherah. Even worse, she began to train the Isrealites to worship these pagan gods, which represented child sacrifice, greed, and debauchery. Asherah, the Hebrew word for Astarte, was the goddess of fertility, lust, sex, and war, and Baal was the god of fertility, rain, dew, and thunder. Each of these pagan deities was represented in the form of an object – Asherah by a pole, and Baal most often by a bull or cow. When Moses was on Mt. Sinai and the people decided to bow down to Baal, they fashioned him as a calf. In fact, so widespread was the propagation of this ancient form of idolatry that up until the industrial revolution, there were images of golden bulls outside of farms, markets, and other places of prosperity all around the world.

It only takes a little bit of yeast to spread through the whole batch of dough, my friend. Remember this whenever you are tempted to compromise, and don’t be swayed by the corruption of others. Even if it seems like a small accomodation of wrong won’t make much difference, think of Jezebel and the manner in which she led thousands of God’s chosen ones astray. You have more influence than you think you do, and as you walk the narrow road that leads to life, it’s vital to understand that small choices have big consequences. Resolve to be a person of complete integrity so that your mind, soul, and heart can know perfect rest and peace! 


Protect me, Jesus, from destructive yeast, and give me the resolve to walk in integrity before you.


Is there any destructive yeast in your life right now?

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