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Numbers 31

Talks for Growing Christians

God's Vengeance on Midian

Numbers 31

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Lesson Number 34

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The defeat of the Midianites was the Lord’s vengeance on Midian.
  2. The defeat of the Midianites was the Lord’s provision for Israel.

Practical Application

  1. Why not give more than what is required?

Questions

  1. What was Moses’ last official act before he died?
  2. Why did the Israelites go to war against the Midianites?
  3. Why was Balaam the diviner killed during this battle?
  4. If all the Midianite men and boys were executed at this time (Numbers 31:17), how were there Midianites alive 200 years later to fight Gideon?
  5. Why were the virgin girls of Midian left alive?
  6. How was the booty or plunder from the war divided?

Answers

  1. Leading the children of Israel in battle against the Midianites
  2. Because the Midianites joined the Moabites in seducing Israel to sin (Numbers 25).
  3. In chapter 24 Balaam returned to Mesopotamia, after unsuccessfully attempting to curse the Israelites. Apparently he then returned to king Balak of Moab and counseled him to have the Moabite and Midianite women seduce the men of Israel. For his counsel he was killed during the battle.
  4. This was possibly only one of several clans of Midianites, or possibly the Israelites did not carry out the executions as they were commanded.
  5. Because they had not participated in the fornication at Peor.
  6. The plunder was equally divided between the Israelites who had gone to war and those who had remained behind.

Discuss/Consider

  1. In this chapter the Lord sought revenge on the Midianites for leading His people astray at Peor. Discuss the concept of allowing God to take the revenge. Read Romans 12:19. Sometimes His vengeance will not be as apparent as the defeat of the Midianites. How can we have faith to leave the vengeance to Him?
  2. Discuss the biblical principle of equally dividing the booty of war between those who fought and those who remained behind. Serving the Lord behind the scenes is just as important as serving the Lord on the front lines. Each one is responsible to do what the Lord has called him to do. Then we all share in the blessings of the Lord’s work.

Challenge

  1. The captains of the Israelite army brought an extra offering to the Lord as thanks for His protection during the battle. Do you have this same attitude? If the Lord has blessed you recently, why not give more than what is required as a gift of thanks to Him?

Key Verses

  • “Arm some of yourselves for war, and let them go against the Midianites to take vengeance for the LORD on Midian.” Numbers 31:3
  • “Divide the plunder into two parts, between those who took part in the war, who went out to battle, and all the congregation.” Numbers 31:27
  • “‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Romans 12:19

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