September 28, 2018
To read this text, go to: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers+25&version=NLT
Scripture: Numbers 25, 1-3, 6-8, While the Israelites were camped at Acacia Grove, some of the men defiled themselves by having sexual relations with local Moabite women. These women invited them to attend sacrifices to their gods, so the Israelites feasted with them and worshiped the gods of Moab. In this way, Israel joined in the worship of Baal of Peor, causing the Lord’s anger to blaze against his people…
Just then one of the Israelite men brought a Midianite woman into his tent, right before the eyes of Moses and all the people, as everyone was weeping at the entrance of the Tabernacle. When Phinehas son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron the priest saw this, he jumped up and left the assembly. He took a spear and rushed after the man into his tent. Phinehas thrust the spear all the way through the man’s body and into the woman’s stomach. So the plague against the Israelites was stopped…
Observation: Unable to curse Israel (in chapter 24), Balaam gave the Moabites and Midianites guidance in how to provoke the Lord’s anger against his people. The wicked “daughters of Moab” seduced Hebrew men into both immorality and idolatry. Moabites were so evil to God that they were among the few people he said could never be welcomed into the congregation of Israel. God’s anger burned against the Israelites until a young man named Phinehas sees an Israeli man openly bringing a Midianite woman into his tent. Phinehas, wanting to be obedient to God, grabs a spear and kills both the Israeli man and the Midianite woman, turning God’s wrath away from Israel once again.
Application: God hates idolatry. Period. We tend to think we are safe because we don’t bow down and worship statues as the Moabites may have done. But our culture (and our lives) are often filled with 21st century idols: our jobs, money, our family, our comfort, desire for power, sports, maybe even “the church.” Basically an idol is anything that we put before God. We do this without even thinking about it! This is just as dangerous as worshipping a stone statue, maybe even more so because our idols are subtle and sneaky.. This morning, think about your relationship with God, what idols do you need to put a spear through?
Prayer: Dear Lord, Forgive us for when we put our jobs, our families, our comfort, and other things before our relationship with you. Through the power of your Holy Spirit, reveal to us our modern-day idols. Lord, we want to worship you with our whole life. Help us fully surrender all things to you so that we can know and love you with our whole heart. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
P.S. Thank you to everyone who has brought contributions for Family Promise over the past two months. Your generosity has been much appreciated!!!
P.S.S. Our mission emphasis for October is Operation Christmas Child. OCC provides shoeboxes filled with small toys, hygiene items, and school supplies to children around the world as a means of reaching them with the Good News of Jesus Christ.To learn more about Operation Christmas Child and/or learn how to pack a shoebox, go to: https://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/
For more information about New Hope UMC, check out our website at www.findnewhope.com
To respond to Rev. Vicki, send an email to