Numbers 25::1-18–This is the chapter in the history of the children of Israel that I wished it never happened. Unfortunately it did . Reading the first few verses of this chapter caused so much pain for me that I could now imagine how our God would have felt seeing His children whom Balaam wanted to curse but could not because of His love and covenant with them. But the devil found another way to lure them into sin of immorality with the women of Moab. The chapter starts with “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 to Baal-peor; and the anger of the LORD was kindled against them” (1-3).
Almost two chapters were devoted to Balaam and Balak trying to curse Israel whom God had blessed and no divination or enchantment could affect them. After God had proven His point that these people are His, then these people began to bow down to the gods of Moab, ate with them, and committed whoredom with their daughters. They knew that this was against the Law of God, yet they allowed their flesh to control them. Immediately God’s plague started among them and one of them named Zimri brought a Midianite woman ( Cozbi) into the tent in the sight of Moses and in the sight of all the congregation of Israel who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle. When Phinehas saw him holy anger came upon him, and he went after them with javelin and thrust both of them through. Then the plague stopped. Phinehas (grandson of Aaron) was rewarded for his zealousness for God.
This episode caused the death of 24,000 people. Is this not sad? The people that could not be cursed had to die as a result of their disobedience. The king of Moab was afraid of them, but see how devil defeated them because of their carelessness,. The same problem they have been facing all along and had caused deaths of thousands before they got to Shittim, was the same thing that made them vulnerable to devil’s attack. They were always craving for things that they used to enjoy in Egypt which they lacked in the wilderness, and murmuring against Moses and God caused many of them to lose their lives.
The cause of human’s failure up till today are found in these three things-lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, and these are enmity against God (I John 2:15-17). I wish we can have more of Joseph, Daniel and his three friends, Samuel, Deborah, Ruth, Esther, and many more who can stand up for God wherever they are. May the LORD deliver us from the power of the flesh. Only those who truly know their God can be strong and do exploits. (Daniel 11:32). Do you know the stories of these people I listed here and how their lives changed their generation? What legacy do you want to leave behind for posterity? We should not allow those little comfort, pleasures, and the beautiful things of the world replace the permanent and eternal glory of the kingdom of God that is waiting for us. Heaven and hell are real. We should do everything that are necessary to keep our Lamp burning to the end. I know we can do it with the LORD’s help, because we know what is right. I will end this chapter with Micah 6:8 that says ” He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good, And what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do JUSTLY, and to LOVE MERCY, and to WALK HUMBLY with thy God? FEAR HIM and LOVE HIM. God bless you!