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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Living Sober

Numbers 25-26
Oh that Balaam… even a talking donkey did not stop him from doing evil.
Yes, I know he ended up blessing the children of Israel when Balak wanted him to curse them.  But as Maggie mentioned here yesterday, Balaam did not have the best of intentions.
As a matter of fact, on Saturday we will read in Numbers 31 that is was actually Balaam who devised the plan to corrupt Israel by having the Moabite women entice them to worshiping Baal and have sexual relationships with them.
You see, where Balaam was not able to prophesy against and curse Israel, he was able to go back to the Moabites and plot Israel's corruption by using their women as prostitutes to lure Israel's men into idolatry causing God to curse them (Numbers 25:8-9). Didn’t see that coming did you?  Yeah, me neither.
So, just in case you started liking Balaam as he was giving his pro-Israel prophecies, don't get too excited. He just turned out to be another evil man who seemed to have had a short-lived period of favor with God.
On Saturday we will also read how God instructs Moses to take vengeance on the Midianites for causing Israel to stumble. Just a little spoiler alert, Balaam nor the 5 kings make it out alive.  But you would have seen that coming.  I mean it’s God we are talking about.  And God is a just God and he says in Romans 12:19 “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
But Balaam and the kings’ tactics did not die with them.  Today, Satan still creates circumstances around us to seduce us into sin.  While he can’t steal our salvation, he can place people and things around us that may steal our joy and soften our resolve to put God and his ways first in our life.
That is why 1 Peter 5:8 is such a vital verse for us.  Here is what it says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour.”
As followers of Christ we have to always be on guard.  It is in that one moment, that one instant where we get lax that we found ourselves doing the thing we swore we would never do.
So we have to be like Phinehas was today in Numbers 25:7-8, as soon as we see even the hint of sin in our camp, we need to run out and slay it!
If we don't, it may eventually slay us.
Stay sober my friends,

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