Numbers 25:1-18


This is the final chapter of the four chapter series concerning the fall of Balaam and the results of that fall.  let us never believe that we live to ourselves and that we are unaccountable for those around us.


I.    Verse 1-3 - This is the result of Balaam's compromise with wickedness and his effort for financial gain.

A.  Israel abode in Shittim.

1.      Anytime a people of God dwells among sinners, they must be extra careful lest their sins rub off.

2.      Everybody has got to live somewhere, but we ought to be a positive influence on those around us.  They ought not be a negative influence on us.

B.   They began to commit whoredom.

1.      This does not mean that all they did was commit physical whoredom.

2.      Physical whoredom is bad enough, but spiritual whoredom is much worse.

3.   The Moabites couldn't defeat Israel in a battle, so they successfully defeated them by joining them.

4.   The Moabites simply asked the Israelites to come to worship with them.  (to the sacrifices they offered to their gods.)

5.      This happens all the time today.  People go off to some other system of worship, thinking they are doing God a service.

6.   The people did eat - they ate the sacrifices offered to idols, which was totally against the commandments of God.

7.      Bowed down to their gods.  Note the step by step falling.  They began their downfall by being asked to attend the sacrifice to false gods.  They attended, they ate, then bowed down to the false gods.

8.      Joined to Baal-Peor.  This is the same exact place Balaam was during the third attempt to curse Israel.  (Num. 23:28)

9.      Balak didn't get Balaam to curse Israel, but Israel will curse themselves by worshipping these false gods.

10.  The anger of the Lord was kindled - built up from a small fire.


II.   God's commands to rid Israel of this compromise.  (Verse 4,5)

A.  Kill the people that have compromised.

1.   Our church, and individuals have no right to kill people today, but God has given this right to the government.  Capital punishment is commanded by God for the cleansing of sin.  When a nation won't take care of those criminals, the criminals will take care of that nation.

2.   Our church has no right to kill anybody today, but we do have the right and obligation to exclude from our midst and membership any person that willfully and continually stirs up strive and trouble and confusion.

B.   Who was supposed to do the killing?

1.   The leaders of Israel that knew the men that served under them that had worshipped Baal.

2.   If the leaders knew that they would lose membership because of unbelief, they would be very careful to make sure all their people understood the truth and stood for the truth.


III. Trouble in the midst of Godly sorrow.  (Verse 6-9)

A.  There were many people gathered around the door of the tabernacle weeping because of their sinfulness.  In the very midst of this weeping, an Israelite man brought a Midianitish whore to an Israelite man.

1.      Note that when some are sorry for their sinfulness, others don't give a care.

2.      Evidently there were some Israelites that believed Moses had made an idle threat to kill them.  If they had believed Moses had spoken God's Word they would no doubt have been before the door of the tabernacle weeping for their sinfulness.  They shall find out soon enough that Moses means business.

B.            Phinehas, Aaron's grandson, was weeping with the others when he saw the event.

1.   He decided it was time to quit praying and start doing something.

2.      There is a time to pray, but there is also a time to cease from praying and put "feet on our prayers".

3.   He picked up his javelin, a type of sword, went into the tent were the immorality was taking place and killed them both.

4.      This action stopped the plague upon Israel.

5.   But this didn't help the 24,000 that had already died.


IV. The blessing from God to Phinehas.  (Verse 10-13)

A.  God gave a special blessing to those that stand up for the truth of God.

1.      Many people would like to stand for the truth, but are afraid of the consequences.

2.   We should be more afraid of the consequences of not standing for the truth.

B.   Not only will Phinehas have the covenant of peace, but his children shall also enjoy this peace.

1.   We think we are doing a very hard job when we stand against friends for the sake of Christ.

2.   But it is much harder if we don't stand.

3.   Sin gets bigger and bigger until finally our children are spiritually strangled.


V.  The people Phinehas killed.  (Verse 14,15)

A.  The man.

1.   His name is Zimri, the son of Salu, a prince of the tribe of Simeon.

2.   He was a well known person.

3.   It didn't make any difference.  He was a compromiser and was causing much destruction in Israel.  It was better to lose him than to lose the entire nation.

B.   The woman.

1.   Her name was Cozbi, the daughter of Zur, a head over the people, of a chief house in Midian.

2.   She was also well known, but her popularity didn't save her life.  She died as she lived.

C.   This ought to tell us that it doesn't make any difference who the person is that sins.  God does not hold them guiltless.  We should not either.  Many times, we let our friends and relatives get away with "murder", while we condemn the smallest error of strangers.  This is not true religion, and is hated by God.


VI. The command by God to destroy the Midianites. (Verse 16-18)

A.  the Midianites must be destroyed.

1.   Not because they are not Israelites.

2.   But because they are being used of Satan to destroy Israel.

B.   Their methods.

1.      Vex means to wear down.  They don't just come on with the full force of their compromising.  They want Israel to give a little at a time, until they have given up everything.

2.      Wiles means their trickery.  The Midianites know exactly what they want Israel to do.  Normally Israel wouldn't do those things, but because of constant trickery, Israel will fall for their traps.

3.      They proved what they were in the matter of Baal-Peor, and the matter of Cozbi.