November 13 2023
Today, Monday November 13
Costly Disobedience to God’s Word
28 They joined themselves also to Baal of Peor, And ate sacrifices made to the dead.
29 Thus they provoked Him to anger with their deeds, And the plague broke out among them.
30 Then Phinehas stood up and intervened, And the plague was stopped.
31 And that was accounted to him for righteousness To all generations forevermore.
32 They angered Him also at the waters of strife, So that it went ill with Moses on account of them;
33 Because they rebelled against His Spirit, So that he spoke rashly with his lips.
Before we look at Psalm 106 today, I wanted to share with you that I’m in Roanoke Virginia this morning to participate in a memorial service for a dear friend, Don Parker. Please be in prayer for his dear wife, Jane Parker and all the family and friends as they celebrate his life and his faith that touched so many of us! Don loved the Lord and his wife and family faithfully over the many years. Don was not a “upfront” sort of person, but you could count on him to be faithful and loyal!
I’m convinced that I’m probably alive today because of Don’s willingness to help me any time I ask, especially to cut down large trees on my property over the years. He was the expert that could tell me exactly how a tree would fall and the best way to do the cut. I am convinced that he could sharpen the chain saw blades faster and better than anyone else in the world! Don has been a dear loyal friend to me over these past 27 plus years and he will be greatly missed by all. But we are also assured of his salvation through Jesus Christ by his life of faith and testimony and we know we will see him again in heaven one day!
Now in Psalm 106, if you want to get the full story of the history that we find there, I would encourage you to read and study the Old Testament books of Exodus and Numbers. If you want to know and understand the spiritual applications of this chapter, I would encourage you to read and study the New Testament book of Hebrews, especially chapters three and four. Another passage in the New Testament that also uses this history and how we can apply it to our lives in dealing with the temptation to be disobedient is 1 Corinthians 10:1-13.
By the way, the very first verse in the Bible that I memorized is 1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” In this passage we are also told that “Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play." (1 Corinthians 10:6-7).
Today we are looking at the verses in Psalm 106:28-33. These two events recorded in this passage occurred toward the end of Israel's march through the wilderness, and both of them illustrate the high cost of willful disobedience to the Lord. The failure at Baal Peor is described in Numbers 25, but read Numbers 22-24 to get the background. The king of Moab hired the prophet Baalam to curse the nation of Israel, but God turned his curses into blessings (Deut. 23:5; Neh. 13:2; see Psalm 109:28).
But Baalam knew how to trap Israel: he suggested that the king act like a good neighbor and invite the Jewish tribal leaders to share a feast with the Moabites. This would be a religious feast, of course, which meant eating meat dedicated to demons and dead people and cohabiting with cult prostitutes. Once more, the people of God yielded to their fleshly desires and tasted the wrath of God, and 24,000 people died (Num. 25:9). The plague would have claimed more lives, but Phinehas, the son of the high priest, killed a Jewish man and his Moabite partner as they arrogantly sinned in the camp of Israel. Remember that the "The wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23).
The second demonstration of carnality was seen in Moses, not a sin of the flesh but of the spirit: he became proud and angry and took for himself the glory that belonged only to the Lord (Num. 20:1-13). Provoked by the people, the "pride of life" possessed Moses and he lost his temper and spoke rash words that offended the Lord (Psalm 78:40; Isa. 63:10; 1 John 2:15-17). This sin cost Moses the privilege of leading the people into the Promised Land (Deut. 3:23-29).
Even today, our disobedience to the known will of God will always be very costly to us and to those around us!