7 Lessons from Numbers 25
While Israel lived in Shittim, the people began to whore with the daughters of Moab. These invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. So Israel yoked himself to Baal of Peor. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel. (Numbers 25:1-3 ESV)
We’re reading through the Bible in a year, something we recommend for everyone. Our first passage today was Numbers 25. It paints a horrific scene where Israel commits sexual immorality with Moabite women who then lead Israel to run after the Moabite god, Baal of Peor. God in his jealousy kills 24,000 Hebrews with a plague and the execution of the guilty leaders. The plague ends when Phinehas, Aaron’s grandson, drives a spear through a Hebrew man and a Midianite woman while engaged in the sex act.
Paul tells us this event is an example for us in 1 Corinthians 10 and Jesus chastises the church at Pergamum for succumbing to the same temptation as the Hebrews at Shittim in Revelation 2. Both suggest that sexual temptation is a primary strategy of the enemy and a doorway to idolatry.
What was the attraction of the Moabite women? What was wrong with the Hebrew women? The Israelite men apparently were mesmerized by the exotic cult sex of Baal of Peor. These foreign women seemed more exciting and enthusiastic than the familiar Hebrew women. The Moabite women promised exotic sexual practices the Hebrew men could not resist.
The modern application is too obvious even to mention. There is nothing new under the sun. Sexual temptation is everywhere and ready to seduce the strongest of us.
What can we learn from this event?
- Sexual temptation is more powerful than we are.
- Sexual temptation is one of Satan’s main strategies.
- The threat of God’s punishment is not enough to keep us from sexual sin.
- Exotic, strange sexual partners promise one thing but deliver something else.
- Sexual sin often leads to idolatry.
- It’s probably good to run from sexual temptation.
- Stay at home and rejoice in the wife of your youth.
Paul eases our anxiety by telling us that God has provided a way of escape from every temptation and he will not tempt us beyond our ability to resist. Whew! (See 1 Corinthians 10:13)
God has provided a way of escape from every temptation including sexual temptation.
God’s Word tells us clearly that the only escape from sexual temptation is married sex in 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 and then not occasional sex but frequent and reciprocal sex.
Bible Thought: Lots of married sex is God’s way of escape from sexual temptation.
Prayer: Father, help me to overcome sexual temptation by delighting in the the spouse of my youth. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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