March 16 - Baal Worship
What single sin can affect the leadership and the people of God, having the potential of wiping out the whole nation or race? What happened at Shittim was a fitting preview of what was going to happen in the Promised Land over and over again. It was none other than the worship of Baal. Baal is the male fertility god of the Canaanites and the worship of the sun and sexual immorality was part of their worship. There were many high places in Israel where people worshipped the sun’s first rays at sunrise and its last gleam before sunset. The people of Peor worshipped Baal and they wanted to entice Israel into sin.
The entry point in Baal worship is always sexual immorality, like the Israelites whoring with the daughters of Moab. Then they were tempted into offering sacrifices and bowing down to their gods. What began as a sexual sin could turn into the sin of idolatry. What was more shocking was that both the chiefs and the people were all involved. The Lord’s fierce anger broke and ordered the hanging of the chiefs in the sun (getting a taste of the sun god, Baal). Then the judges were to go around to kill those who were yoked with Baal of Peor.
After these were done, one of the Israelites brought a Midianite woman to his tent in full view of the congregation and Moses. Phinehas, the son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron, took the spear and pierced both of them, then the plague on the people of Israel was stopped. The zeal of Phinehas was the key to saving the whole race for he made atonement for the people. He was jealous with the jealousy of God.
Are you jealous with the jealousy of God, do you love what God loves and hate what He hates? Our God is a jealous God, He would not share His glory with another and would not condone or tolerate sin. His jealousy could consume the people of Israel, His own people. The two very serious sins in our lives are sexual sins and the sin of idolatry. The former kind usually brings in the second kind. So our first line of defense is always our sexual purity.
Sexual sin is grounded in greed, wanting more than what God has given to us. Greed then breed idolatry (Ephesians 5:5) and the worship of other gods, people or things. None of us can ignore the potency of sexual sin since it has the potential of destroying the whole human race. Today, homosexuality, domestic partnership and same sex marriage have been seen as normal lifestyle choices. Do you share the jealousy of God on these matters or are you secretly condoning them?
Go before the Lord now and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any sexual sins in your life. Confess your sin and ask God to give you His jealousy now.
Ps 40:1-5 Num 24:1-25:18 Luke 2:1-35 Prov 11:14