Would we ask the Swiss Family Robinson to build a radio or use Google maps?
While Israel lived in Shittim, the people began to whore with the daughters of Moab. 2 These invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. 3 So Israel yoked himself to Baal of Peor. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel. 4 And the Lord said to Moses, “Take all the chiefs of the people and hang them in the sun before the Lord, that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel.” 5 And Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Each of you kill those of his men who have yoked themselves to Baal of Peor.”
6 And behold, one of the people of Israel came and brought a Midianite woman to his family, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of the whole congregation of the people of Israel, while they were weeping in the entrance of the tent of meeting. 7 When Phinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose and left the congregation and took a spear in his hand 8 and went after the man of Israel into the chamber and pierced both of them, the man of Israel and the woman through her belly. Thus the plague on the people of Israel was stopped. 9 Nevertheless, those who died by the plague were twenty-four thousand.
10 And the Lord said to Moses, 11 “Phinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, has turned back my wrath from the people of Israel, in that he was jealous with my jealousy among them, so that I did not consume the people of Israel in my jealousy. 12 Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him my covenant of peace, 13 and it shall be to him and to his descendants after him the covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the people of Israel.’”
14 The name of the slain man of Israel, who was killed with the Midianite woman, was Zimri the son of Salu, chief of a father's house belonging to the Simeonites. 15 And the name of the Midianite woman who was killed was Cozbi the daughter of Zur, who was the tribal head of a father's house in Midian.
16 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 17 “Harass the Midianites and strike them down, 18 for they have harassed you with their wiles, with which they beguiled you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of the chief of Midian, their sister, who was killed on the day of the plague on account of Peor.”
No coward soul is mine,
No trembler in the world's storm-troubled sphere:
I see Heaven's glories shine,
And faith shines equal, arming me from Fear.
O God within my breast,
Almighty, ever-present Deity!
Life - that in me hast rest,
As I - Undying Life- have power in Thee!
- Emily Bronte
Is the god of the Old Testament without mercy, mean, cruel and utterly blood thirsty? Compare and contrast with:
A Rebellious Son
“If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them, 19 then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, 20 and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ 21 Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear.
This is today medication and counseling for the violent before violence happens.
And if you want to go further, our blog post Judges 20 ~ Tell us how this awful thing happened. lists a third horrible event that really is in Scripture.
So, Scripture for Today has decided to not be cowardly; let's look at Scripture some people, who do not like the Scriptures, love to tell you they have heard of. Okay.
God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. And His Word is living and active.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
God deals with each generation with faithful love and steadfastness. We use the tools - at hand - to live our lives. You could not ask the Swiss Family Robinson to build a compass and a radio (not their era), they did not have the tools of even their own fictitious generation. God tells us deal with problems, don't sweep them into a large lump under the rug. One of the first rules of youth ministry is: discipline.
For the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.
If everyone is jumping on the sofa and popcorn is flying, no real time for deep growth is going to occur. If you sit down to memorize the 10 Commandments, you realized they are orderly and start with GOD. Why. This is really important. We do not serve Google. Or a flowchart. We love a GOD who is interested in creation, in emotion, in the depth of our hearts. We love a God who says, I'm important too. And that, is very admirable. And honest. And lovable.
So, we are working today our way back up to the top, reverse order. The city in the Scriptures did not believe someone who completely disrupts the world should be ignored. Like the people in the United States who have taken guns and shot multiple people to death. No one who knew these people were surprised they acted so terribly. Today we have more knowledge and pharmaceuticals, and believe stoning might mean Medication while receiving group therapy. The Scriptures tell us we should not ignore problems. Or leave people we love undisciplined.
Okay. Phineas. You can't just foggetaboutit Phineas. Because David did not sweep Phineas and these deaths under the rug.
Then Phinehas stood up and intervened, and the plague was stayed.
What was the Baal worship so terrible that the LORD considered it to be whoring. Not "The 10 Commandments" Movie scene, they were collecting Egyptian gold and jewelry while dancing around a cow.
Baal worship is prostitution. Works for dollars. Sacrificing human babies, letting the blood run into the fields, or desert, in exchange for prosperity. This is even today, abominable. Baal worships funds.
In the middle of the Old Testament, we run into a Biblical event. We all remember Jesus with the woman caught in Adultery (the man somehow ranked exclusion?). And we wonder why was one woman being punished. John's Gospel tells us so many things are about Jesus, we don't know all of them. In this chapter of Numbers 25 - during the time of Moses, this prostitution was not limited to the Moabite woman - the Holy Spirit condemns the Israelite man turning her in. The chiefs of the people and hung in the sun, not like the Pharisees who made sure, instead, they wore the best robes and sat in the finest seats.
In our attempt to condemn a violent outcome, we find, we have over looked lack of hypocrisy in the government of Moses. We remember the "staff" of Aaron's budded to be an almond branch, when in Ecclesiastes we see an almond branch means a head of white hair filled with terror of old age and not mature peace.
However, to believe this was of the LORD, you'd have to believe the LORD was speaking to Moses.
Consider Abraham: "He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."
You have wisdom in Your Decisions. When we seek to see You as Jesus and Good, when we seek to have wisdom in seeing Your ways, we find this answer.
We pray for our lives to be filled with Your Wisdom and Your Tender Mercies. Bless those who worry about illness and heal them to not suffer and to arrive in Your Kingdom as Victorious, when their time this occurs in Your Plan.
We thank You Catholics pray each week for the mercies of God now and at the hour of our death. A fine prayer.
With expectation You are Life, we ask about the concerns of those we love, the People You have given us, our Churches, communities, states and the Nation. Please cover us with Your Love and Your Name. In Jesus' Joy. Amen.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves †