From Numbers 23-25
Do you think the LORD treats Israel differently in different circumstances?
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
[23:1] And Balaam said to Balak, “Build for me here seven altars, and prepare for me here seven bulls and seven rams.”  Balak did as Balaam had said. And Balak and Balaam offered on each altar a bull and a ram.  And Balaam said to Balak, “Stand beside your burnt offering, and I will go. Perhaps the LORD will come to meet me, and whatever he shows me I will tell you.” And he went to a bare height,  and God met Balaam. And Balaam said to him, “I have arranged the seven altars and I have offered on each altar a bull and a ram.”  And the LORD put a word in Balaam’s mouth and said, “Return to Balak, and thus you shall speak.”  And he returned to him, and behold, he and all the princes of Moab were standing beside his burnt offering.  And Balaam took up his discourse and said,
“From Aram Balak has brought me,the king of Moab from the eastern mountains:‘Come, curse Jacob for me,and come, denounce Israel!’ How can I curse whom God has not cursed?How can I denounce whom the LORD has not denounced? For from the top of the crags I see him,from the hills I behold him;behold, a people dwelling alone,and not counting itself among the nations! Who can count the dust of Jacobor number the fourth part of Israel?Let me die the death of the upright,and let my end be like his!”
 And Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, and behold, you have done nothing but bless them.”  And he answered and said, “Must I not take care to speak what the LORD puts in my mouth?” (Num 23:1-12)
[25:1] While Israel lived in Shittim, the people began to whore with the daughters of Moab.  These invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods.  So Israel yoked himself to Baal of Peor. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.  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.”  And Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Each of you kill those of his men who have yoked themselves to Baal of Peor.”
 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.  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  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.  Nevertheless, those who died by the plague were twenty-four thousand. (Num 25:1-9)
 Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him my covenant of peace,  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.’” (Num 25:12-13)
Story of Israel
This story is remembered in Psalm 106,
 Then they yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor,and ate sacrifices offered to the dead; they provoked the LORD to anger with their deeds,and a plague broke out among them. Then Phinehas stood up and intervened,and the plague was stayed. And that was counted to him as righteousnessfrom generation to generation forever. (Ps 106:28-31)
Story of Jesus
 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.  For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” (Rom 4:2-3)
 Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness.  How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised.  He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, (Rom 4:9-11)
For us it is very similar to Abraham. Believing in the promise of the gospel. That in the resurrection of Jesus the Christ, we believe God will also raise us up from the dead. In this hope we were saved (Rom 8.24)
Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2014. All Rights Reserved.