Miracles of Jesus

Miracles of Jesus

“Day 25 (Numbers 25)”

Categories: 40 Days in the Wilderness

Israel arrives in Shittim, in the plains of Moab, where they begin to play the harlot with the daughters of Moab, and in so doing were influenced to “join themselves to Baal of Peor” (v. 3).
The bright light in this chapter is Phinehas, son of Eleazar, grandson of Aaron. While Israel was weeping before the tent of meeting (likely due to God’s anger and the death from the judges and the plague), here’s a man who has brought a Moabite woman into his tent! Phinehas sees it, and responds through killing those two (v. 8). His action turned away the wrath of God (v. 11). Twice it ways he was “jealous for his God” (v. 11, 13).

This is a dark chapter, but it comes with a serious thought – am I moved to righteous anger over sin like Phinehas? When I see blatant disregard for God’s word, am I affected? We’re saturated in a culture that knows little distinction between right and wrong. It’s easy to be so calloused to the continual exposure to evil that we barely bat an eye towards wrong being done. Injustice, profanity, immorality – when we see or hear of it, it ought to bother us. We need more Phinehas’s today. Not stabbings with spears – but people who stand up and speak up against that which is wrong. Without Phinehas sin remains in the camp. When confronted, it ends.

We speak with an understanding that I too have sinned, and need God’s grace, the gift of His Son. It’s not self-righteous – I’m better than you.  And I speak, not out of hate toward the sinner, but a hate of that sin which I know destroys all that is good. So I’m kind, loving, and respectful.

Nevertheless, I speak. I speak up. I stand up for the sake of truth and for God. I try to point people to God, His standard, His will. I try to help people who are drifting from God’s path, being pulled by the way of the world. I speak up to those who’s hearts have become so hard and bitter that they leave a path of hurt wherever they go. I speak up because someone spoke up to me. Someone loved me enough to talk to me, to correct me, to point me to God, and help me get my life where it ought to. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy” (Prov. 27:6). Will I be a friend or an enemy towards others? Enemies watch as others drift into danger, into harm. Friends have others best interest at heart, and will speak the painful words of truth to try and save them from harm. Whom will I be – a friend or an enemy? Will I sit and watch, or will I stand and speak?

Righteous Lord, we know that You hate sin, evil, and all that is wrong. Our sin has separated us from You, broken Your commandments, rejected Your love. Forgive us Father. We need Your grace, Your forgiveness. We’re amazed at Your mercy, in awe of Your longsuffering. Help us to see sin as You see sin – a disgrace, an evil, a monster. Yet help us to see others as You see them – lost, unaware of Jesus, distracted by the world, caught in a chain of addiction, and needing help, needing a friend, needing a Savior. Help us to speak up with love, to speak words of truth, to offer words of hope. Thank You for the hope we have in You – hope for forgiveness, hope for a better and brighter tomorrow, hope for a home prepared by You. Give us courage to stand, conviction to speak, and compassion to act.