THE COVENANT OF PEACE
Tuesday, 4 February 2020
Numbers 25 : 1-18
“Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give him My covenant of peace......’ -Numbers 25:12
God’s people during their journey to Canaan were encamped in the plains of Moab (Num.22:1), in the proximity of their Promised Land. The Moabite king Balak was petrified by the presence of Israel. It was customary in those days to curse the enemy prior to a battle and so Balak hired Balaam the soothsayer for the task. Balak didn’t know it is pointless to come against God’s children, because their strength lies in the Almighty One who accompanied them!! Exo.13:21 says: “The Lord was going before them....” Numbers 22-24 details the encounter of Balak with Israel through Balaam and how God thwarted every curse attempt by Balaam, putting a word of blessing instead, in his mouth. The power of God in the life of God’s children is such that nothing could harm them! Dear child of God so long as you live within the permissible limits of God, the enemy cannot hurt you!!
Numbers 24 ends with Balaam and Balak going their way. However, Chapter 25 abruptly states that the people of Israel began to play the harlot with the women of Moab. The ensuing consequence on Israel and its implication is the subject of Chapter 25.
The frustrated Balaam, having failed in cursing them, did not quit – he gave another counsel to Balak which worked! Rev.2:14 warns us of the teaching of Balaam “... who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality”
God had forbidden His children not to sacrifice to the gentile gods (which are demons) (Lev. 17:7). They were prohibited from committing adultery (Exodus 20:14). Since everyone knew this prohibition by the law, it happened outside the Camp. But one, Zimri had the audacity to do such perverted acts within the camp!! It was Phinehas who had the courage to execute God’s judgement against such grievous sins.
Both the above sins were committed by Israel when they were just near the Promised Land. Across the Jordan River of their camp, was the promised land of Canaan and the enemy attacked them cunningly.
We are in our journey to the promised land where our Saviour and Redeemer has gone to make an eternal dwelling for us. We see the land of promise – Heaven, through our spiritual eyes. But at this time, the devil cunningly makes many fall. Both the sins of sacrificing to idols (and eating the sacrifice) and adulterous activities, are in the domain of flesh. 1Cor.6:15 says that our bodies are members of Christ. 1 Cor.6:19 reiterates that our body is the temple of Holy Spirit. How much care should we give in maintaining it in the same status-quo!!
Paul refers to this incident in 1Cor.10:8 and concludes: “ Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction...”(1 Cor.10:11) The life of Israel depicted in Numbers 25 and all that happened to them are a lesson for us who live today that we will not do the same sins (1Cor.10:6)!!.
We may not do the acts that the Israelites did, in the same manner. But, are you doing it secretly? In this age when the cyber space has given everyone access to everything, it is very easy for the devil to trap anybody through the “world wide web”. Are you falling prey to it? Whatever we imagine in our mind is not seen by anybody else – but God can see/read it!!
Those who successfully escape the corruption – God enters into a covenant of peace through the Prince of peace – Jesus Christ. It is a warning to all professing believers – if you are a person indulging in any immoral activities (though not visible to the naked eye) you are outside the covenant of peace! Come back!!
Lord Jesus, I understand my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit- help to keep it clean by Your standards and may I remain in the covenant of peace that I have with You through Your redemption. Amen.
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