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Friday, December 13 2013
Numbers 25: The Moabite Seduction
"And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel"
The united kingdom of Israel, and then the independent kingdoms of Israel and Judah (see the Fact Finder question below) repeatedly suffered military defeat that ended their sovereignty. Every single time however their military and political defeat was brought about by their self-inflicted moral defeat that always manifested itself in a religion of perversion.
The Moabite seduction was not the first, nor the last, time that the Israelites turned away from the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) to "commit whoredom."
"25:1 And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab." (Numbers 25:1 KJV)
Notice carefully that it was not the adultery and fornication by the men of Israel alone. The people of Israel, men and women, degenerated into a lewd religion of "whoredom" i.e. "they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods."
"25:2 And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.
The LORD's response, just as it was every time before (e.g. see Exodus 32: The Mount Sinai Riot) and every time after (see the Fact Finder question below) was the same.
"25:4 And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel.
Much like the rampant pornography of the present day world, the people's lewdness was "in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel" - before the LORD delivered unto them "the plague" that they were delivering within themselves (see Leviticus 18: Sexual Abominations).
"25:6 And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 25:7 And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; 25:8 And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. 25:9 And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand." (Numbers 25:6-9 KJV)
Also, as was the case every time, before and after, the Levites were the last to become corrupt - primarily because they were "separated" from the general population (see Numbers 3: When Were The Levites Set Apart?).
"25:10 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 25:11 Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy. 25:12 Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace: 25:13 And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel.
It was a lesson yet-again repeated in the history of Israel. Not the first time. Not the last time.
"25:16 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 25:17 Vex the Midianites, and smite them: 25:18 For they vex you with their wiles, wherewith they have beguiled you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of a prince of Midian, their sister, which was slain in the day of the plague for Peor's sake." (Numbers 25:16-18 KJV)
Fact Finder: (a) What caused the northern kingdom of "Israel" to fall? (b) What caused the southern kingdom of "Judah" to fall?
This Day In History, December 13
558: King Chlothar I reunited the Frankish Kingdom after his brother Childebert I died. Chlothar thereby became sole ruler of the Franks.
1204: Medieval Jewish scholar Maimonides (Moses ben Maimon) died at age 69.
1250: Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Germany and Sicily (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation), died and was succeeded by Conrad IV.
1545: The Council of Trent, summoned by Pope Paul III in 1542, opened to discuss doctrinal matters, especially the rise of Protestantism.
1577: British explorer Sir Francis Drake left England with 5 ships, including the Golden Hind, on his voyage around the world - a journey that took almost 3 years.
1636: English colonists at the Massachusetts Bay Colony organized three militia regiments to defend themselves against the "Americans" - a term originated by the English in referring to the native people (later called "Indians"). It was only much later that the children of the colonists began calling themselves "Americans," but even then referring to where they were, not who they were.
1642: New Zealand was discovered by Dutch explorer Abel Tasman.
1643: During the English Civil War, the Battle of Alton was fought in Hampshire.
1862: During the U.S. Civil War, General Robert E. Lee with 80,000 Confederates repulsed General Burnside with his 150,000 Federals at the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia. After hard fighting, Burnside lost almost 14,000 troops.
1916: During the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), an avalanche killed 10,000 Austrian and Italian troops in Tyrol.
1937: Japanese forces took the Chinese city of Nanking. Over the next 6 weeks, in one of the worse atrocities of the Second World War, they killed an estimated 200,000 Chinese in what became known as the "Rape of Nanking."
1939: During the Second World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), the captain of the German battleship Graf Spee ordered his vessel scuttled after being encircled by 3 British cruisers (Exeter, Ajax and Achilles) off the coast of Uruguay.
1941: During the Second World War, British forces withdrew to Hong Kong island as the invading Japanese army took Kowloon and the New Territories.
1945: France and Britain announced that were leaving Syria and Lebanon.
1949: In defiant response to United Nations and Papal demands to make Jerusalem an "international" city, the Israeli Knesset unanimously approved David Ben-Gurion's proposal that the sovereign legislature of the state of "Israel" (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah and A History Of Jerusalem: The Capital Of Judah) be moved to Jerusalem, from Tel Aviv, which it was the next January 1.
1967: King Constantine of Greece and his family fled the country after a counter-coup failed to topple the military-backed government.
1981: In response to the success of the Solidarity Union, Polish communist leader General Wojciech Jeruzelski proclaimed a national emergency and martial law. His action in all probability prevented a Soviet invasion which would have made Solidarity's later victory less likely.
1993: The European Union ratified a treaty creating the world's largest trade bloc, the European Economic Area (EEA).
2000: Al Gore conceded the U.S. Presidential election to George W. Bush, 5 weeks after the very close election was held.
2003: Following the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein (a former U.S. "ally" during the Iraq-Iran war of the 1980s) was captured near his home town of Tikrit. He was later hung for his war crimes.