Today’s reading from Numbers 25 – 27.
Chapter 25 deals with Israel’s sin at Peor or Baalpeor; chapter 26 tells us the numbers of the men age twenty and over; and chapter 27 tells us of Moses view into the Promised Land, because he was not going to be allowed to enter the land due to his rebellion in the striking of the rock; rather than speaking to it, as GOD has said.
Since we looked at Balaam in yesterday’s study let’s finish up with Balaam today.
In chapter 25 we have the people of Israel sinning grievously against GOD. They were joining themselves with the people of Moab. Moab hated Israel and wanted them cursed well now they brought a curse upon them.
“And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.” 25:1-3
Where does Balaam fit into this picture? We need to look ahead in the book of Numbers.
“Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.” 31:16
It has every appearance of telling us that Balaam saw he could not curse Israel, but he sees a weakness in them, and counsels Balak to send and invitation to, at least some of the people, to allow them into Israel’s camp. Bringing their demon worship with them, they lead many into adulterous worship against the Creator of the universe.
We see also in chapter 31 and verse 8 that Balaam was slain by the sword. He was a wicked prophet for hire.
The great thing about chapter 25 that we need to see is the zeal for GOD shown by Phineas (vv. 7-8). Because of this sin 24,000 people died as a result of a plague. Because of the zeal for GOD and His righteousness; the work of Phineas, the grandson of Aaron, the plague was stopped. Far more people could have died were it not for Phineas.
In a time when there are businesses for the promotion of adultery, online and otherwise, there needs to be many more with the zeal of Phineas; rushing in where angels fear to tread; not taking lives, but with the message of God’s Word, warning of the destruction that is coming into lives due to so much immoral behavior.
In this time as Christians we have a responsibility to share the love of Jesus Christ; yet loving enough to confront; especially any brethren who call themselves Christian who are dabbling in immoral behavior; participating in things that destroy families, marriages, and lives of children; and calling them to turn back to GOD.
Please read Numbers 25 – 27.
-Tim A. Blankenship