Bible Study Lessons from the Moab Plains

Bible Study Lessons from the Moab Plains

From Bashan the Israelites moved to the plains of Moab across from Jericho. (Numbers 22:1)

King Balak of Moab had seen what the Israelites had done to the Amorites and they were afraid of them. Balak thus sent elders of Moab and Midian to Balaam to ask him to curse the Israelites because they were too mighty for them.

When the messengers arrived, Balaam asked them to spend the night so that he could hear from God. God told Balaam, You shall not go with them. You shall not curse the Israelites because they are blessed. (Numbers 22:12)  

Balaam did not go with this first group of men. However, King Balak did not give up and he sent another group of more important men to Balaam with the following message: "Do not let anything hinder you from coming to curse these people because I will certainly honor you greatly and do what you say." (Numbers 22:16-17) 

Balaam asked this second group to also spend the night but he eventually went with them to meet King Balak. When he did, he was taken to three strategic places where he could see the Israelites and he offered sacrifices of 7 bulls and 7 rams on each of those places.

However, God placed blessings in the mouth of Balaam and he was unable to curse the Israelites even though the sacrifices had been offered to curse them.  

Lesson #1
God is a shield for His people and He protects His people.

Chances were that the Israelites did not know how King Balak was working so hard to curse them but God knew.

God knew and He took measures to protect them for God came unto Balaam at night (Numbers 22:20) and told him not to curse the Israelites because He who keeps Israel shall neither sleep nor slumber. (Psalm 121:4)

Therefore Connect with God and trust him to protect you even when you do not know you are a target by believing that He is your shield.

The Israelites began to commit harlotry with the Moabite women. They went to the sacrifices of their gods, bowed to them and as a result they were joined to Baal of Peor and this angered God. (Numbers 25:1-4)

God told Moses to hang the people who had sinned by being joined to Baal of Peor and a plague erupted which killed 24,000 people. (Numbers 25:9)

Lesson #2
Do not sin against God  

King Balak had been unable to curse the Israelites by hiring Balam, a man renown for his prowess in cursing for the king said, "I know the person you bless is blessed and the one you curse is cursed." (Numbers 22:6)

However, the Israelites cursed themselves and 24,000 of them died because they sinned against God by being joined to Baal of Peor.

Therefore try to not sin against God by putting on the breastplate of righteousness which involves doing the right thing in the sight of God. 

Lesson #3
Be zealous for God

Phinehas who was the grandson of Aaron, killed Zimri who had brought a Midianite woman called Cozbi to the Israelites as they were weeping at the door of the tabernacle. By killing this man, Phinehas turned back God's wrath and stopped the plague that had already claimed 24,000 lives.

God rewarded Phinehas by telling Moses that He would give him "My covenant of peace" (Numbers 25:12) which was to be for him and his descendants "A covenant of everlasting priesthood because He was zealous for God and made atonement for the Israelites.(Numbers 25:13) 

Therefore be zealous for the things of God and He will reward you as He sees fit.

Lesson #4
God is aware of your enemy's schemes. 

God told Moses, "Harass and attack the Midianites because they harassed you with their schemes by seducing you in Peor and with Cozbi." (Numbers 25:16-18)

God repeated this command when he told Moses, "Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites." (Numbers 31:2)

God had noted this scheme of the Moabite women to seduce the Israelite men to commit harlotry and join themselves with Baal of Peor.

This shows us that God was aware of the schemes that the Israelites' enemies were using to destroy them. 

Chances are that He watched to see if they could stand and resist the temptation. When they fell, He punished them by sending the plague.

However, He did not forget their enemies who made them fall for He gave Moses permission to attack them. (Numbers 31:2)

Lesson #5
Vengeance is mine says the Lord

Vengeance belongs to God but He can give you permission to avenge yourself. We can see this because He told Moses, "Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites." (Numbers 31:2)

Moses therefore told the Israelites to arm themselves for war and To take vengeance for the Lord. (Numbers 31:3) So they recruited 1000 men from each tribe of Israel to go to war. The Israelites fought and killed all the males. They killed the 5 kings of Midian together with Balaam the son of Beor. (Numbers 31:8) 

Balaam had to die because It was through the counsel of Balaam that the Israelites sinned against God in Peor and this caused the plague. (Numbers 31:16)   

They also took the Midianite women captive with their children, cattle and all their goods. They burned with fire their cities, their forts and took all the spoil. (Numbers 31:9-11)  

To show that God approved of this, not a single Israelite soldier was killed in this battle. (Numbers 31:49)    
It is God who avenges for me 2 Samuel 22:48

Lesson #6
Misleading can come from leaders

Zimri the man who presented the Midianite woman to the Israelites as they were weeping at the door of the Tabernacle was the son of one of the Israelite leaders from the house of Simeon. 

Cozbi, the Midianite woman he presented, was the daughter of one of the Midianite leaders named Zur. (Numbers 25:14-15)

This shows us that sometimes misleading can come from leaders.

This is not the first example of the Israelites were misled by their leaders since they had initially refused to fight to possess their Promised Land because 10 of their 12 spies had told them it was impossible. These 10 spies were also leaders of their father's houses in Israel. 

Therefore, pray for God's guidance so that you can choose the right thing to do. To learn more read Who Are You Listening To?
Who are you listening to?

Exodus Bible Study

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