Read Numbers 25
“There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality. (Rev. 2:14).
Apparently Balaam, the man who got schooled by a donkey, came up with a way for Balak and the Moabites to thwart the Israelites. He couldn’t curse them, but they could curse themselves. “Behold, these, on Balaam’s advice, caused the people of Israel to act treacherously against the LORD in the incident of Peor, and so the plague came among the congregation of the LORD” (Num. 31:16).
God’s relationship with His children was covenantal. It means He gives His Word. And they give theirs. Both sides give.
Yes, God is sovereign. But because of His great love for His people, He gave them the freedom to choose for themselves. They could choose to follow Him and His Law and live. Or they could choose rebellion and death.
They chose false gods and worshiped the gods of their girlfriends. God’s chosen, set-apart people, bowed down to the gods of the Moabites and Midianites. When God called Moses and the leaders of His people to put a stop to the madness, the people fell down and repented. But still there was one who was too cool to repent.
Even as the rest of the nation wept for their sin, Zimri paraded his foreign girlfriend through camp. A statement of rebellion that spoke louder than words.
God used Phinehas, and his zeal for the Lord God Almighty to deal with his rebellion. And He used a plague to stop the idolatry.
Still, God worked His plan. Still, He kept His promise. The plague wiped out the rest of those God had said would not enter His Land of Promise. The generation whom God had promised would not enter the land He promised.
Even in the Israelites’ freedom to rebel, God worked His mighty hand to keep His promise. God had prepared a new generation of Israel to enter the land and fulfill His promise.
Almighty God invites us into a covenant relationship with Him as well. He has moved His miraculous saving hand of mercy and provided us with life beyond our imaginings if we will just agree. Believe. Trust Him for that saving grace.
We can choose forever life through Jesus Christ or we can choose our own way and face eternal death.