Numbers 25

* The Israelites enticed by the daughters of Moab and Midian.

(1-5) Phinehas puts Zimri and Cozbi to death. (6-15) The

Midianites to be punished. (16-18)

1-5 The friendship of the wicked is more dangerous than their

enmity; for none can prevail against God's people if they are

not overcome by their inbred lusts; nor can any enchantment hurt

them, but the enticements of worldly interests and pleasures.

Here is the sin of Israel, to which they are enticed by the

daughters of Moab and Midian. Those are our worst enemies who

draw us to sin, for that is the greatest mischief any man can do

us. Israel's sin did that which all Balaam's enchantments could

not do; it set God against them. Diseases are the fruits of

God's anger, and the just punishments of prevailing sins; one

infection follows the other. Ringleaders in sin ought to be made

examples of justice.
6-15 Phinehas, in the courage of zeal and faith, executed

vengeance on Zimri and Cozbi. This act can never be an example

for private revenge, or religious persecution, or for irregular

public vengeance.
16-18 We read not that any Midianites died of the plague; God

punished them with the sword of an enemy, not with the rod of a

father. We must set ourselves against whatever is an occasion of

sin to us, #Mt 5:29,30|. Whatever draws us to sin, should be a

vexation to us, as a thorn in the flesh. And none will be more

surely and severely punished than those who, after Satan's

example, and with his subtlety, tempt others to sin.
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