March 22. 2023

Then they waged war against Midian, as the LORD had commanded Moses, and they killed every male. Among the slain were Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba—the five kings of Midian. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword. But Moses was angry with the officers of the army—the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds—who were returning from the battle. “Have you spared all the women?” he asked them. “Look, these women caused the sons of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to turn unfaithfully against the LORD at Peor, so that the plague struck the congregation of the LORD. So now, kill all the boys, as well as every woman who has had relations with a man, but spare for yourselves every girl who has never had relations with a man. – Numbers 31:7-8,14-18 BSB

This is a big deal! When God reacts harshly, it is warranted! God is a just God, and of all the sins that Israel committed, the most egregious was the violation of the 1st commandment! The First Commandment is recorded in Exodus 20:3: “You shall have no other gods before Me.” There is no greater offense to God than when we worship other gods! Israel committed a ‘CARDINAL SIN’, and they worshipped Baal at Peor. Hear the Word of the Lord: While Israel was staying in Shittim, the men began to indulge in sexual immorality with the daughters of Moab, who also invited them to the sacrifices for their gods. And the people ate and bowed down to these gods. So Israel joined in worshiping Baal of Peor, and the anger of the LORD burned against them. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Take all the leaders of the people and execute them in broad daylight before the LORD, so that His fierce anger may turn away from Israel. “So Moses told the judges of Israel, “Each of you must kill all of his men who have joined in worshiping Baal of Peor.” (Numbers 25:1-5) The Psalmist records this event in the 106th Psalm; Then they yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor, and ate sacrifices offered to the dead; they provoked the LORD to anger with their deeds, and a plague broke out among them. They did not destroy the peoples, as the LORD commanded them, but they mixed with the nations and learned to do as they did. They served their idols, which became a snare to them. They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons; they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was polluted with blood. Thus they became unclean by their acts, and played the whore in their deeds. (Psalm 106 28-29,34-39)

Leader, how did this whole mess start? We need to go back to Numbers 22. It was FEAR OF THE LORD that brought this about! Now Balak son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites, and Moab was terrified of the people because they were numerous. Indeed, Moab dreaded the Israelites. So the Moabites said to the elders of Midian, “This horde will devour everything around us, as an ox licks up the grass of the field.” Balaak had heard of the power of the God of Israel and was afraid that what God did to Israel’s enemies, He would do to Moab. Let’s pick up where we left off at verse 4: “Since Balak son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time, he sent messengers to Balaam son of Beor at Pethor, which is by the Euphrates in the land of his people. “Behold, a people has come out of Egypt,” said Balak. “They cover the face of the land and have settled next to me. So please come now and put a curse on this people, because they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I may be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land; for I know that those you bless are blessed, and those you curse are cursed.” (Numbers 22:2-6) From Numbers 22-Numbers 31 we have the story of Balaam, Balak and the Worship of Baal of Peor. This incident is a BIG MOMENT and is mentioned numerous times in the Bible both in the TANAKH and in the New Testament. Hear the Word of the Lord: Your eyes have seen what the LORD did because of Baal-peor: for all the men that followed Baal-peor, the LORD thy God hath destroyed them from among you. The LORD says, “O Israel, when I first found you, it was like finding fresh grapes in the desert. When I saw your ancestors, it was like seeing the first ripe figs of the season. But then they deserted me for Baal-peor, giving themselves to that shameful idol. Soon they became vile, as vile as the god they worshiped. (Deuteronomy 4:3, Hosea 9:10)

Conduit, Got Questions dot org says this about this incident; The story of Baal Peor starts when Balaak, the king of the Moabites, hired Balaam, a prophet-for-hire, to curse Israel. Balaak had seen the progress and might of Israel and was trying to do something that would stop them. Balaam took the money but was unable to curse Israel because the Lord would not allow him to do so. Balaam then met with the king of Moab and went through the motions of receiving a word from God; each time (seven times total) he ended up blessing Israel instead of cursing them (Numbers 23–24). At the time of the third oracle, Balaam and Balaak were observing the Israelite camp from a place called Peor (Numbers 23:28). By the end of the seventh try, Balaak finally got the message that Balaam would not curse Israel for him. According to scripture this happened because the women seduced the men, on the advice of Balaam. It appears that, since he could not curse Israel, Balaam found another way to fulfill the wishes of Balaak, who was paying him. Balaam knew that, if the Israelite men could be seduced into idol worship, that God Himself would curse them. This is what is going on in America, and in the church itself. We are being enticed to worship as NON-BELIEVERS. Wanting to fit in, we compromise under the term, LOVE. Even other believers cry out that we must LOVE, to CONDONE, to ACCEPT the non-godly way. The church is so afraid of offending anybody, or hurting anybody’s feelings that we call the WORSHIP OF OTHER gods, as being loving of our non-believing earth dwellers. Today we invite those who worship the gods of Baal, Ashtoreth and Molech into our circles and we hang out with them to show them how loving we are. We don’t judge them, or their gods, we condone, accept and become just like those we hang out with…just like ISRAEL DID! Hear the Word of the Lord through Paul the Apostle: Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. (1 Corinthians 10:6-11) We are called to LOVE like CHRIST, not like the world. “Love is not defined by the response of the loved. A person can be genuinely loved and feel hurt or offended or angered or retaliatory or numb without in any way diminishing the beauty and value of the act of love that hurt him.” Leader, for God so loved the world, He did something about it. Do you SO LOVE JESUS that you are doing something about it?


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