Summary: Today, as we study the account in Numbers chapter 25 of God’s faithful soldier Phinehas we will see that Phinehas was a man who LOVED GOD! AND HATED SIN!
"SOLDIERS OF CHRIST ARISE! (LOVE GOD! HATE SIN!)"
TEXT: NUMBERS CHAPTER 25
As we study from the book of Numbers today we will be introduced to one of the GREAT HEROES of the Bible. He may be a someone that you have never heard of before, but after today you will never forget him. The first thing we want to do today is to do a brief background for our text.
In our study last week we discussed how the Israelites had lost their faith in God. How they no longer trusted God’s power, God’s provision or God’s promise.
And because they no longer trusted God, when they saw the great task they lay ahead of them (the taking of the promise land) they felt that victory depended on just their own abilities. And as they analyzed their weak and feeble abilities, they determined that they were no match for the people of the promise land and they therefore rebelled against God, refused to take the land and were forced to wander in the wildernesses for 40 years.
Our text today is in Numbers chapter 25, and here we find the Israelites nearing the end of their journey. They are completing the last year of their wilderness wandering and they are now camped right next to the Jordan river. From this spot Joshua would (as we read in the early chapters of the book of Joshua) lead the Israelites across the Jordan and into the promise land, to battle with Jericho and to conquer the land.
Their journey was nearly over and the land of promise was just across the river. The time of their punishment was a about to end, they were on the home stretch.
The years of wandering were not easy years. Over 1 million adults that had left Egypt under the power of God were now dead. Moses brother and sister, Aaron and Miriam were now dead. The wilderness years were years of hardships and grumbling, there were plagues and there were battles. But through it all God was with them, and God provided for them (food and water for 2 million people for 40 years). And now victory was just across the river.
If we were to enter the Israelite camp at this time we would expect to find a great amount of excitement and enthusiasm and we would expect to find a people who were rejoicing (dancing and singing) a people who were full of thanksgiving to God, because it was God who had brought them to this point.
That’s what we would expect to find, but as we study Numbers chapter 25, we will discover that this great scene of thankfulness is not at all what we find going on in the camp.
Today, as we study the account in Numbers chapter 25 of God’s faithful soldier Phinehas we will see that Phinehas was a man who LOVED GOD! AND HATED SIN!
And as we study this heroic moment in the life of Phinehas we should be challenged to follow his example.
I. WE LIKE PHINEHAS MUST WITHSTAND THE PULL OF SIN
A. Ever since the nation of Israel was delivered from the bonds of Egyptian slavery, her enemy was in fast pursuit to destroy them. We saw in Exodus how the mighty Pharaoh pursued them immediately in his war chariots after their deliverance.
And as we read through the book of Numbers we will see that the direct attacks upon the Israelite nation by the enemies of God continued. We find the Canaanite king Arad, the Amorite king Sihon and Og the king of Bashan all mustering their large and powerful armies in battle against God’s people.
And we find Balak the king of Moab employing a prophet to curse the people of God.
God’s people encountered many direct assaults, but through the grace and power of God, the enemies’s mighty armies were defeated and the curses for the nation of Israel were turned into blessings.
B. However, the enemies of God’s people do not give up that easily. And in chapter 25 we find them changing there strategy to a more indirect and subtle approach.
After God had forced Balak king of Moab’s hired prophet Balaam to bless Israel, on his way out of the palace he whispered into the ears of the king a backup plan, a new strategy and it is this new approach to get God’s people to turn their backs on their God that we see unfold in chapter 25 of Numbers.
This new strategy was very cunning and shrewd. It was not a plan to destroy God’s people by mustering a powerful army to attack them nor was it a plan to curse God’s people. No this plan was much more devious and sly than that.