I had to reread 25 a couple times to really understand what was happening. Things escalated so quickly!
This is a historic moment for Israel, which will have tragic ripples reaching far into their future. It’s the first time they try out worshipping the gods of Canaan. This is why God reacts so quickly, immediately sending a plague, and praising Phinehas for his fast thinking sex shish-kabab.
Baal-peor has been speculated to be the same as the Moab deity, Chemosh, who is closely related/maybe the same as Molech. All to say, a demonic power, worshiped through human sacrifice and sex acts.
So when a leader of the household of the Simeonites goes to perform a binding sex act with the daughter of the leader of Midian, it’s a desperate time calling for a desperate measure.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t deter the Israelites forever. This moment in time is referenced 6 more times in the Bible as a sort of “beginning of the end”. For example:
“I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your forefathers as the earliest fruit tree in its first season. But they came to Baal-peor and devoted themselves to shame, and they became as detestable as that which they loved.” (Hosea 9:10)
We all have sins in our lives we wish hadn’t taken root. Sometime, in our past, we crossed the first line and it seems there’s no going back. Do we still take that seriously or have we given up?
Stop. The LORD has made us new.
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
We don’t have to let our Baal-peor moments rule our lives! The power which raised Christ from the dead lives in us and we are not defined by our past sins!
The same kind of Chemosh demonic power in this world, called the “accuser of the brethren” wants to convince you that you’re bound to something, but Christ has set you free.
Stand free in that power today! Tell that accuser what’s up and bring your struggles to the LORD. The LORD is God and there is no other. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me from my sins!
“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.” (Colossians 2:8-15)