Today’s Reading: Numbers 24:1-25:18 (additional reading Psalm 59:1-17 and Proverbs 11:14)
Key Verse: “Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, has turned my anger away from the Israelites. Since he was as zealous for my honour among them as I am, I did not put an end to them in my zeal.” Numbers 25:11
Even after Israel was delivered from the bonds of Egyptian slavery, their enemy was in fast pursuit to destroy them. First by Pharaoh and the Egyptians, and then as we read through the book of Numbers, we see direct attacks upon the Israelites by the enemies of God’ people.
The enemies of God’s people do not give up easily, and in chapter 25 we find them changing their strategy to a more indirect and subtle approach. This new approach was to get God’s people to turn their backs on their God that we see unfold in today’s reading.
This new strategy was very cunning and shrewd. It was not a plan to destroy God’s people by assembling a mighty army to attack them nor was it a plan to curse God’s people. No, this plan was much more devious and sly than that. The idea was to be nice to God’s people. To invite them to their parties. To seduce them with their woman and then to have them worship their gods.
Despite the fact that God had forbidden them to do this (worship other Gods and have relations with the Canaanites). We find them in chapter 25 indulging in sexual immorality and worshipping false gods. What the mighty armies and a hired prophet were unable to do, God’s people did to themselves as they gave into their own lusts.
From the moment that we accept Christ, our enemy (Satan) has been in hot pursuit. Our enemy like the Israelites enemy will not give up that easily. James describes in great detail his cunning and crafty approach (James 1:13-15). Satan studies our weak points and looks for kinks in our armour, such as pride, lust, envy, compromise of the truth, jealousy, greed, hate, selfishness, bitterness, slander, deceit and so on. He will seduce us with our weakness and attempt to get us to fall into the deadly trap of sin.
However today we also met Phinehas, a man who LOVED GOD! AND HATED SIN! He was in the same camp, he faced the same temptation from the Moabite woman, but Phinehas withstood and did not allow himself to become defeated by them. We must be like Phinehas and resist the pull of sin.
- Where have you allowed compromise to sneak into your life?
- How can resist the pull of sin?
Father, Thank You that You have saved us and hold us. Help us to stay away from weak areas in our life and to cling to what is good and righteous. Thank You for sustaining us through life’s trials. In Jesus’ name, Amen