Blasphemy in The Place of Blessing

Mark Twain married a Christian lady. She at first didn’t want to marry, but later did. He at first went through the motions of religion with her, but later said he couldn’t keep up with being a hypocrite. In time, she came to the place where she no longer believed in a personal G … More

Apostasy

The next thing they did was “they joined themselves also unto Baal-peor” (v. 28). This involved them with the Moabites in a sacrificial communion service to the dead idols of Baal and where they gave up their bodies to shameful lusts. As a result the Lord swept throughout the land with a plague that took 24,000 people into eternity (v. 29). It was then that Phinehas, the son of Eleazar the son of Aaron the High Priest, stood up and took a vigorous stand against this apostasy (vv. 30-31).

When Moses was first called of God, he said, “I cannot speak.” Now he is kept out of the promised land because he spoke too much (vv. 32-33). When Israel failed to remove the Canaanites from the land as God directed they became like them (v. 34). It was not long before the Hebrews were as bad as the people they had been told to exterminate (v. 35). God always has His champions who rise to the occasion, even in the worst of times. Suddenly the sins of Israel became more gross. The psalmist shows us a threefold downward path into religious apostasy:

  1. The first step has to do with the graven images of the pagans (v. 36). They went against the Mosaic Law which forbade them to worship idols.
  2. The second downward step involved the giving of human sacrifices (vv. 37-38). It was where millions of children were sacrificed to Moloch.
  3. The third and final step was gross immorality (v. 39). Idolatry and immorality often go hand in hand.

Application

It is hard to understand how Israel after seeing great miracles by God could turn to worshiping idols.  However, I need to be careful that I do not forget all that God has done for me and give into the pressures of this evil world.

Psalms 106:28-39 (English Standard Version)

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 righteousness from generation to generation forever. They angered him at the waters of Meribah, and it went ill with Moses on their account, for they made his spirit bitter, and he spoke rashly with his lips. They did not destroy the peoples, as the LORD commanded them, but they mixed with the nations and learned to do as they did. They served their idols, which became a snare to them. They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons; they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was polluted with blood. Thus they became unclean by their acts, and played the whore in their deeds.

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