Summary: Exposition of Numbers 25 regarding two more motivations and ammunitions for Romans 8:13.
Text: Numbers 25:1-13, Title: Silver Bullet #2, Date/Place: NRBC, 6/19/11, AM
A. Opening illustration:
B. Background to passage: 1 Cor 10:6-10 gives us four OT reminders of God’s dealing with sin in His covenant people that should have known better, in order to help us fight sin in our own lives. Last week verse 7 led us to Ex 32 with four helps for fighting sin. Today verse 8 gives us our text for today and it deals with the sin at Peor. Israelites had just come off some major victories after the little incident at Kadesh-Barnea. And God had just protected them from Balak (the king of Moab, who was afraid of the invading Israelites, and wanted them gone) and Balaam’s attempt to curse them. And now they would be attacked more subtly and be defeated from within.
C. Main thought: In the text today, we will see two more motivations and ammunitions for Rom 8:13
A. The Lure of the Sensual (v. 1-4)
1. Since Balak couldn’t get the Israelites cursed, because of God’s protection upon them, he was instructed by Balaam to try another method. If Balak couldn’t get them by direct spiritual attack, he would try a preliminary invasion tactic: sex. So he arranged for Moabite and Midianite women who were religious prostitutes in the worship of Baal-Peor (the Canaanite fertility god), to go and undercut the heads of the households in Israel morally, then spiritually, and thus put them at odds with their God, and cut them off from divine blessing, and invite discipline.
2. And the strategy couldn’t have worked better! Prominent men of Israel were being led about by the belts by the lustful looks of these ladies. And this has nothing to do with intermarriage, but simply sex. But the strategy didn’t stop (wasn’t designed to) at moral failure, it progressed to worship of Baal. So not only had they disobeyed God and been unfaithful to their wives (which would have been utterly destructive to the family and the fabric of society, just look at our culture or ask anyone who has experienced adultery in a marriage), but they “joined” themselves, made themselves one, through eating, sex, and worship with Baal. The Israelite men would be leading their families to be absorbed into the Canaanite culture, effectively destroying the people of God. Sexual desire led to fornication, led to idolatry, led to the 2nd highest body count due to one incident of discipline in the OT.
3. Rev 2:14, Hos 9:10, Pro 6:32, 2:18-19, 5:22-23, 7:22-23, 8:36, 9:16-18,
5. Just on a side-note of application: there are many other preliminary attack strategies in Satan’s plan to destroy you that will indirectly open the floodgates of destruction and discipline in your life: money, power, pride, position, even blessing (elaborate on these). And this doesn’t just apply to men, women may have other forms of sensual pleasures (that may not necessarily be sexual, although the sexual revolution and the women’s liberation movement of the 60s-70s has done few favors in the downslide of female sexuality in our culture). Other technological and cultural trends have made inroads into much of our life because of sexual “freedoms” (that are actually bondage), that exacerbate the temptation (as if our depravity wasn’t enough as we saw last week).
6. Moral failure, particularly sexual moral failure is a gateway to at onslaught of evil! Most, if not all, sin is not an isolated incident, but has far reaching consequences. You have heard that sin will take you further than you want to go, here’s the proof. But sexual sin specifically has windows into the soul for evil, much like God-honoring marital sex has windows of joy and goodness. You think that when you look at porn on the internet that nobody knows, nobody is harmed, but the floodgate of sin are now open—lust has controlled your heart, intimacy with your spouse will suffer (even if they don’t catch you), your mind is more at ease with objectifying people, you have committed adultery (or fornication if you are single), guilt is unleashed, physical self-gratification may have taken place further complicating matters, images are burned into your mind’s eye, you defenses are lowered toward physical and emotional intimacy with those who are not your spouses, and you may become addicted, not even to mention your spiritual spiral and the harm to Christ and His church—all for a quick thrill. And the same could be applied to romance novels, soap operas, Victoria’s Secret catalogues, movies with sex scenes (and even insinuations), office flirtation, second stares at passing joggers, billboards, commercials, cheerleaders, etc. And just by the way, I know this affects men generally more, and many times, ladies, you don’t help us out much.
7. Recommend Sex and the Supremacy of Christ by Piper and Taylor. This gives (among other vast reservoirs of other good information and teaching) the best way to fight sensual sinful pleasures: with greater, more fulfilling, more satisfying pleasure: in Christ! Be afraid of sin, be enraptured with Christ!