Prophecies of Balaam; Israel sins; Baal worship; the plague of death stopped by Phinehas.
Verses for Today:
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 Baal-peor: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel (Num. 25:1-3).The last encampment of the Israelites on the eastern side of the Jordan River was on the Plains of Moab northeast of the Dead Sea near Mount Nebo, a few miles south of today's Amman, Jordan (22:1; 33:49; Josh. 2:1; 3:1). Everything seemed peaceful, with no apparent danger. But once again Israel ignored the Word of God who said: Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works (Ex. 23:24).
The Moabite women seduced the Israelite men to become involved in sexual immorality and idol worship (Num. 31:16; Rev. 2:14), thus breaking their Covenant vow of allegiance to the One True God. This disobedience resulted in a plague of death that swept through the tribes of Israel and those that died in the plague (pestilence) were twenty and four thousand (Num. 25:9).
The Apostle Paul was led to describe true Christian conversion as turning from idols to serve the Living and True God (I Thess. 1:9). Turning from idols is far more than merely professing that we are Christians. The Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed: Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve (Matt. 4:10).
Jesus warned that the way of eternal life is a narrow . . . way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it (7:14). Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven (Matt. 7:21).
Some say that we should be tolerant of the immoral (alternative) lifestyles that are increasing in popularity. But if we are committed to Jesus as Lord of our lives, then we will bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (II Cor. 10:5). Know ye not that your body is the Temple of the Holy Ghost (Spirit) which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body (I Cor. 6:19-20).
Thought for Today:
Every Word of God is pure: He is a Shield unto them that put their trust in Him (Prov. 30:5).
As the prophesied Star and Sceptre (Num. 24:17). Christ is coming to reign in great glory, not only over Israel, but over all men (Rev. 19:15-16). Unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy Kingdom (Heb. 1:8). I Jesus. . . . am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the Bright and Morning Star (Rev. 22:16).
23:3 peradventure =perhaps; 23:10 dust =descendants; 23:22 unicorn =wild ox; 24:5 goodly =attractive, lovely; 25:3 kindled against =aroused against; 25:7 javelin =spear; 25:18 wiles =treacherous deceit (compare Eph. 6:11).
Pray for Staff: Jennifer Cunningham • Government Official: Rep. Kenny Marchant (TX) • Country: Angola (11 million) in west-central Africa • Major languages: Portuguese and Bantu dialects • Christianity is gradually being driven underground by communism • 60% Roman Catholic; 20% Protestant; 5% belief in ancestor spirits, witches, and medicine men • Prayer Suggestion: Realize that your life is in the hands of God, and ask Him to deliver you from all evil (Luke 11:4).
Optional Reading: Luke 10
Memory Verse for the Week: Exodus 20:13-16