Numbers 25* The Israelites enticed by the daughters of Moab and Midian.(1-5) Phinehas puts Zimri and Cozbi to death. (6-15) TheMidianites to be punished. (16-18)1-5 The friendship of the wicked is more dangerous than theirenmity; for none can prevail against God's people if they arenot overcome by their inbred lusts; nor can any enchantment hurtthem, but the enticements of worldly interests and pleasures.Here is the sin of Israel, to which they are enticed by thedaughters of Moab and Midian. Those are our worst enemies whodraw us to sin, for that is the greatest mischief any man can dous. Israel's sin did that which all Balaam's enchantments couldnot do; it set God against them. Diseases are the fruits ofGod's anger, and the just punishments of prevailing sins; oneinfection follows the other. Ringleaders in sin ought to be madeexamples of justice. 6-15 Phinehas, in the courage of zeal and faith, executedvengeance on Zimri and Cozbi. This act can never be an examplefor private revenge, or religious persecution, or for irregularpublic vengeance. 16-18 We read not that any Midianites died of the plague; Godpunished them with the sword of an enemy, not with the rod of afather. We must set ourselves against whatever is an occasion ofsin to us, #Mt 5:29,30|. Whatever draws us to sin, should be avexation to us, as a thorn in the flesh. And none will be moresurely and severely punished than those who, after Satan'sexample, and with his subtlety, tempt others to sin.
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