I know it's not popular for many in the American Church of today to refer to Old Testament history as having relevance to our modern circumstances. But we can learn much about our God because the entire Bible is one long presentation of His character. And He is the same God in Genesis that He is in Jeremiah, Matthew, Corinthians, and Revelation. Actually, one of His characteristics is His immutability; the truth that He doesn't change over time and, in fact, cannot and will not change. That is why, in the New Testament, Jesus is so often quoted as saying, "As it is written", or "As you have heard", and liberally recites what the Prophets revealed about YHWH.
And I am always amazed when I am searching out an answer to a question I have in Scripture, I suddenly find myself being led to an Old Testament narrative that just screams relevance for today. This time, it was my husband who was searching for answers. He wanted to know if the Word, which I will remind you is alive and active, had anything to say about the possibility of being unqualified before the Lord for corrupting our DNA.
This is relevant in the many [and varying] discussions among doctors, scientists, and the public regarding the efficacy of the Covid vaccines. Let me be clear, I am not a medical expert and the point of this blog post IS NOT to argue whether the vaccines are good or bad. That is a personal decision everyone must make for themselves. But what I do want to explore is God's reaction when we, His children and followers, are tempted to stray from His design for the human race. Again, this blog post is written for a discussion among Christians. If you are not a follower of Jesus and do not believe in the One True God, then this discussion has no real relevance to you and we are talking apples and oranges. What I hope to do is encourage my fellow Believers to press into God to see if what I am about to present still has relevance today in light of where we are at in history.
[NOTE: I want to make it abundantly clear that I am not advocating the same physical punishments that God rendered in this Old Testament account, nor do I dismiss the atoning act of Jesus Christ for the similar sins that still exist. I simply want us to start being serious about how God views our sins, transgressions, and iniquities. They are as much an offense to Him today as they were nearly 3400 years ago].
So, let me share with you where my husband landed in Scripture during his search for answers to his question. It's a short chapter in the Book of Numbers; chapter 25 to be exact. To set the scene for Chapter 25, we must understand that the Israelites are now camped at Shittim, a valley in the land of Moab. Joshua and the Israelite army have defeated the two Amorite Nephilim kings, Og and Sihon, which ended Israel's desert wanderings and made way for their entry into the Promised Land. It is from Shittim that Joshua sends two spies to view the land and the walled city of Jericho. As the opening verses of Numbers 25 tells us, Israel is about to embark on a dangerous path.
Israel settled and remained in Shittim, and the people began to play the prostitute with the women of Moab [by being unfaithful to God]. For they invited the Israelites to the sacrifices of their gods, and the Israelites ate [food offered to idols] and bowed down to Moab’s gods. So Israel joined themselves to Baal of Peor [in worship]. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel. I know that this might seem to have no connection to what we are facing today in our nation. But I ask you to look past the differences in the nations mentioned and focus on the people's actions and God's reaction to the unfaithfulness of His people.
I am well aware that there are political operatives who are declaring Christians to be a threat to our nation's security. But I am even more grieved to read of fellow Christians within the family of God who are warning against "Christian nationalists", as if wanting our nation to remain true to Godly principles is somehow displeasing to the same God we all worship. I believe we need to see that we are in danger of following the example of the Israelites who compromised themselves and their faith when they abandoned God's statutes and principles and began worshiping the idols of the culture they lived in.
Baal was the god worshiped at the mountain Peor in the valley of Shittim. The rituals in the worship of this pagan god and idol involved adults gathering around the altar of Baal. Infants would then be burned alive as a sacrificial offering to the deity. Amid horrific screams and the stench of charred human flesh, congregants -- men and women alike -- would engage in bisexual orgies. So Israel joined themselves in worship to Baal of Peor. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel (Numbers 25:3).
Today, we have allowed our faith to be compromised; we have made concessions in order to "get along" with an unbelieving society and appear as pacifists and peacemakers. Let's face it, we have accepted standards that are lower than God desires. As hard as it is to look at the anger of God in that Old Testament chapter, His judgment against the people He loved was harsh and violent. God ordered that those who yoked themselves to Baal, the god of infanticide and sexual immorality, were to be killed. And while the people were weeping over their rebellion and the penalty of their sins, a man blatantly flaunted his union with the daughter of the Midianite chief. This may not seem worthy of what is to follow, but we must remember that God has always been a jealous God, warning those He calls His own to keep uncorrupted bloodlines and maintain their identity as His people.
The same holds true today. Through the idols of Science and Humanism, man is now promoting and idolizing Transhumanism. A rather moderate definition of Transhumanism calls it a "philosophical movement that advocates for the transformation of the human condition by developing, and making widely available, sophisticated technologies able to greatly modify or enhance human intellect or physiology." I will tell you, it is not just a "philosophy". This is in practice right now in the development of Artificial Intelligence, outsourcing our brains to the cloud, and the creation of hybrid man/machine cyborgs. And in case you haven't done your Biblical research, God hates this! He does not want His creation mixed with anything that has been tainted by Satan... whether it is the Nephilim offspring of fallen angels and human women, or the offspring born from the sacrificial blood orgies of Baal worship.
And there has to be some significance to God approving the zeal of Phineas, the grandson of Aaron, the Levite priest, who pierced both the man of Israel and the Midianite woman through her belly. He could have taken his spear to her head or her heart, but he chose to pierce the part of her that would have borne a child. His actions stopped the plague of death that God had brought upon the Israelites because God announced to Moses that Phineas "has turned back My wrath from the people of Israel, in that he was jealous with My jealousy among them, so that I did not consume the people of Israel in My jealousy." God then proceeded to give Phineas His covenant of peace "because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the people of Israel".
Are we jealous for our God in this day? Are we willing to call out the grievous sins of our nation? And this does not mean we take it upon ourselves to mete out God's justice. Remember: "Vengeance is Mine, saith the Lord!" We must not call for violence, but rather for atonement. That means we do not let our spirits be persuaded or consumed by the god of this world, which is Satan. God wants a relationship with our human spirit so that He can partner with us to battle against the forces of evil and Satan. That's why He is jealous for us! When our spirit is in partnership with God and His Spirit, He instills His zeal within us and we long to see His will "done on earth as it is in Heaven".
We must guard against our human zeal misplacing God's zeal in us. His zeal displays His righteousness and it is full of hope, as well as power. We must repent -- turn away from what Sin offers and seek after His will for our lives and our nation. And we must atone for our personal and national sins in ways that establish His will for His people. So, in the coming days -- whatever they bring -- let us remain mindful that God's call for us is to remain true to His commandments, no matter the pressure we get from the world. We must not partake in idol worship [whether it be political, religious, or social]. God wants to be in covenant with us, according to His standards. It won't be easy. Satan is moving his players into position rapidly. We must ready our spirits to hear from God. He will guide us in ways that acknowledge His Grace, Mercy, and Power. We are representatives of His superior Kingdom and the world will see Him in us!
Revelation 3:19 Those whom I [dearly and tenderly] love, I rebuke and discipline [showing them their faults and instructing them]; so be enthusiastic and repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, your sinful behavior—seek God’s will].