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Numbers 25-26

Talks for Growing Christians

Israel Worships Baal of Peor; A Second Census is Taken

Numbers 25-26

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Lesson Number 30

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Divine justice requires firm and timely discipline.
  2. Divine justice includes the discipline of death.

Practical Application

  1. Expect Satan to use sex as a snare.

Questions

  1. How do the oracles of Balaam indirectly affirm a high view of the inspiration of Scripture?
  2. What sin was Israel practicing in Numbers 25?
  3. Who suggested to the Moabites that they entice the Israelites into idol worship and sexual immorality?
  4. What was the consequence of Israel’s sin?
  5. Who was Phinehas, and how was he rewarded?
  6. When did this second numbering of the people take place?
  7. What was the purpose of this second numbering?

Answers

  1. Moses must have received the details of Balaam’s oracles, down to the very words, by direct revelation from the Lord.
  2. They were involved in the sin of worshipping Baal of Peor, one of the gods of the Moabites. This pagan worship involved sexual immorality.
  3. Balaam the diviner.
  4. God sent a plague that killed 24,000 Israelites.
  5. Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, was a priest. He saw one of the Israelites committing sexual sin with a Midianite woman and with righteous judgment, killed them. The Lord rewarded his zeal by promising the priesthood would come through his line.
  6. After the plague at Baal Peor. Remember, this is the second generation of Israelites. The first generation all died in the wilderness for their sin.
  7. Beyond military purposes, this census would determine the amount of land allotted to the tribes once they had conquered Canaan.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Divine justice requires firm and timely discipline. Just as Phinehas was willing to accept this responsibility, so church leaders are responsible for discipline in the church today. Discuss the state of church discipline today. One problem is when someone is disciplined in their church, rather than accepting that discipline, they will leave and go to another church. This is not God’s design.
  2. Numbers 26 records a census of the second generations of Israelites. The first generations had died in the wilderness as discipline for their sin of unbelief. God sometimes uses the discipline of death on believers today. Discuss the places where this discipline is mentioned in the New Testament.

Challenge

  1. In Numbers 25, the Israelites stepped beyond God’s ordained design for sex, and committed sexual immorality with the Midianites. This was a satanic scheme to remove the people from God’s blessing. Satan continues to use this effective scheme today. Pray for the leaders of your church that they will not fall into this snare.

Key Verses

  • “Now Israel remained in Acacia Grove, and the people began to commit harlotry with the women of Moab.” Numbers 25:1
  • “But among these there was not a man of those who were numbered by Moses and Aaron the priest when they numbered the children of Israel in the Wilderness of Sinai…except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.” Numbers 26:64-65

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