NUMBERS 25: MOAB SEDUCES ISRAEL
The book of Exodus & Leviticus give us the background
- Israel has been miraculously set free from hundreds of years of bondage
- Saw God destroy their enemies and give them safe passage through the Red Sea
- Witness God's provision in the desert
- Moses received the law
- Israel built a tabernacle and established a priesthood
This third book of Moses tells us what happened during those 38 years. The Hebrew title of this book gives us an idea of the theme of Numbers. In Hebrew this book is titled In the Wilderness instead of Numbers.
God chronicles what happened to his children during those wondering wilderness years. The wilderness was intended as a temporary place - a place to move through, not to live in! They became comfortable, settled and very familiar with the wilderness...forgetting ALL that their covenant Father had brought them out of and done for them. Many times they were seduced by those God had specifically told them to stand strong against. This is one of those times...Numbers 25: 1-3
"While Israel was staying in Shittim, the men began to indulge (italics mine) in sexual immorality with Maobite women, who invited them to the sacrifices to their gods. The people ate and bowed down before these gods. So Israel joined in worshiping the Baal of Peor. And the Lord's anger burned against them. "
Comfortable to a point of condemnation ~ they brought the Lord's anger upon them ~ WHEW~ serious stuff! They indulged and joined in. How frightening and yet how familiar?
They had been warned, as have I, to stay away from those things that God knows will destroy us. Fight sin - His word tells us, yet we give in and indulge and join in. It seduces us...just like those Moabite women!
Thank you Father for showing me through the incredible story of your covenant people Israel, that you are serious about sin, serious about rebellion against the ONE who brought me out of bondage, serious about the honor of YOUR NAME among the nations! Help me fight sin everyday ~ not to be seduced by it's false claims of fulfillment. You are my fulfillment, in You I take refuge and in You I find strength to conquer the enemy!