When cursing the Israelites through Balaam didn’t pan out for the Moabite leadership, they employed another tactic to try and weaken them. Reading between the lines, and with some commentary help from Matthew Henry, it seems that along with the Midianites, they enticed some of the Israelites away from camp with their women and their worship of Baalpeor. God became furiously angry because he expected them to only worship Him, especially after all he had done to set them free from Egypt. One formidable leader, Zimri, even had the nerve to bring a Midianite woman into the camp, almost daring them to do something about it. He forgot to read the room! Phinehas, the priest, followed them into Zimri’s tent and killed them both with his sword! His actions stopped a plague that had already killed 24000, and God blessed Phinehas with peace and a promise of a position in the everlasting priesthood.
As ministers in God’s kingdom, we must be willing to do more for his advancement than others. As you can see from this story, he is very jealous and expects our commitment to him alone. There are consequences when we venture into sin. God doesn’t play games. I’m grateful that Jesus paid the bill for my sin and that he withholds his wrath and doesn’t give me what I deserve. Be thankful for your salvation today.
Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy. Numbers 25:11