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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

Pinchas 41-1

Snake mouth

Numbers 25:10 -26:4

"Treat the Midianites as enemies and kill them, because they treated you as enemies when they deceived you in the affair of Peor and their sister Cozbi, the daughter of a Midianite leader, the woman who was killed when the plague came as a result of Peor."

Num. 25:17-18 NIV

Why such radicalism?

The Midianites had committed a graver sin than the Moavites' because they lived far away and had no logical reason to get involved in the issue. The fact that the Moavites tried to damage the people of Israel is understandable because of their fear of them (22:3). That's why the Eternal didn't command the sons of Israel to attack the Moavites. But the Midianites attacked the people of Israel for no reason whatsoever. That's why this vengeance from the Eternal came through His people.

We don't know how many sons of Israel fornicated with the daughters of Moav and Midian. We do know that 24000 died by the Eternal's plague, but it doesn't mean that all of them sinned directly. Not only does the fact of sinning against the Eternal bring judgment upon His people, but also upon the others' silence and inaction. Inaction in the view of our brothers' sin is one of the most harmful things for the people. If we don't reprimand those who insist on sinning we'll be considered as their accomplices and judgment will also come to us for our silence. We must be very severe with those who defend their own sin, but merciful with those who repent.

We can't take the sin of fornication lightly. It's forbidden to have sexual relationships outside of the covenant of marriage. The one who commits those sins has no inheritance in the kingdom to come. If we allow people who live in fornication in our community we will also be judged for our inaction in the presence of sin.

In 1 Corinthians 10:8 it's written that 23000 fell in one day due to their fornication. Paul doesn't mention idolatry in his warning, only fornication. Obviously, fornication was more widely spread that idolatry.

The people of Israel lived in a very high moral standard. Family purity was very important and acts of fornication or adultery weren't seen among the people. This thing ought not to be done in Israel (Gen. 34:7). The Israelites' minds and consciousnesses were programmed to reject fornication. That's why when a chief comes and introduces a foreign idolatrous woman to take her in the sight of everyone in his tent and fornicate with her, it is considered as extremely grave. That is not done in Israel or among the chosen ones from the nations.

If one gets used to fornication and doesn't consider it a grave sin it's because his mind and consciousness have been perverted by the spirit of this evil world. How can you allow your daughter to sleep with her boyfriend before marriage? And if in any moment you think that it is fine to live together without being married you need to repent for having accepted something that the Eternal rejects. It is forbidden to have sexual intercourse without a previous covenant of marriage between man and woman!

If we don't consider good, righteous and correct what Pinchas did when he drove the spear into Zimri and Cozbi, then our minds haven't been renewed by the Torah and we think the opposite of what the Eternal thinks. What Pinchas did was good in the Eternal's eyes and he was greatly rewarded for having executed the idolatrous fornicators out of heaven's zeal.

Why such radicalism? To save the people from destruction. A little bit of yeast ruins the whole batter and those sins must be cut off for good so that the righteous ones don't disappear from this world.

We are talking here about how to deal with the sinner that insists on his rebellion. It's a totally different issue when someone falls due to weakness and then repents and hates sin. The Eternal is very merciful with the weak ones and He forgives those who repent. Even if we fall many times and repent again and again, He forgives us.

If we fall in the sin of fornication, however, normally it is because we don't understand the severity of this sin. If you knew you will be infected with AIDS when fornicating, would you still do it? We see that fear of the consequences prevent sin. If there is no fear, the sinner keeps falling again and again in sin, just because he thinks it's not that grave. But fornication is grave!

Severe judgment comes upon those who never really repent of their fornication as it's written in Colossians 3:5-5: "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived." (NIV) In Ephesians 5:3-7 it's written: "But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person?such a man is an idolater?has any inheritance in the kingdom of the Messiah and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them." (NIV revised) In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 it's written: "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Yeshua the Messiah and by the Spirit of our God." (NIV revised)

Blessed be the Eternal for His righteousness and mercy!


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