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10. The Unpardonable Sin

August 14, 2009

Text:      Numbers 25:1-18

Outline:            I. The Sin Against God              Numbers 25:1-3

II. Personal Sin is Judged        Numbers 25:4-16

III. Corporate Sin is Judged    Numbers 25:17-18

Context/Discussion/Comments:

The Title I have chosen for this lesson is probably raising some eyebrows, and it should. But the more I considered it, the more I thought it fit. See Lesson 34 in my Commentary on the Gospels. Jesus describes the Unpardonable Sin as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. But then consider what is happening in the Plains of Moab. The daughters of Midian, those tribal people who intermingled among the people of Moab, have attracted the attention of the Israelite men such that they are attending their worship feasts and bowing to Baal. Scripture doesn’t say so but I believe the Lord is so angry that He asks Moses to gather the leaders of this movement together in broad daylight and kill them, I tend to think that the sin of these Israelites was such that they rejected God in favor of Baal as the true God and , therefore, blasphemed the Almighty God, the God who brought them out of Egypt. The god of Baal was more real to them than the Lord God. Their sin was that of rejecting God after experiencing God’s miracles and redemption [see Heb. 6]. Israel was about to enter the Promised Land but no one can enter God’s Promised Land, Heaven, without professing the name of the Lord as Savior. This incident is the first recorded incident of idol worship since the golden calf at Mt. Sinai and it involves a lot more Israelites. There is no room for sin in God’s Kingdom. We must be washed clean in the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, to enter His rest.. In this case, God knew their hearts and took action.

While the people were mourning the death of those men who were the leaders of this rebellion against God and the ones who were “thumbing their noses” at the first three of God’s Commandments, an Israelite man appears in the front of the assembly with a Midianite woman flaunting the seriousness of the situation. Everyone sees these two, including Moses and Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the High Priest. Phinehas grabs a spear, follows the man to his tent, and kills them both. This form of atonement shut down the plague which evidently was going through the camp because of their sin. Plagues and disease is one of the first punishments God uses to make us aware of our sin [see Lev. 26:16]. Up to that point, the plague had claimed 24000 people. No wonder there was mourning in the camp.

God commends Phinehas for what he did and for his desire to see God’s Name glorified in Israel. God’s desire was purity and Phinehas’s desire was to be a priest of a pure, Godly, and holy nation. God declares him fit to be a priest, the High Priest, along with all his descendents.

With the plague stopped and atonement made, God authorizes Israel to attack the Midianites/Moabites and punish them for coercing Israel to ignore Him and follow their god. This take place later in Chapter 31 where we learn that Balaam was as instigator in Israel’s seduction.

Lessons/Applications:

1. One’s greatest and gravest sin is that of rejecting God and/or rejecting God in favor of idols.

2. Acknowledging God, acknowledging Him as Lord and Savior, acknowledging Jesus Christ as His Son, and acknowledging the presence of His Holy Spirit is absolutely necessary for entering into His Promised Land, Heaven, and receiving eternal life.

3. God acts quickly to destroy sin which permeates in and through His people whether it be Israel or His Church.

4. God recognizes we will not be perfect while living in this world but He does request we worship only Him as the Lord God Almighty and not worship idols such as wealth, power, position, etc. We are to be pure in our worship of Him and, therefore, separate from the world.

5. Sin in our hearts stop God’s sanctifying and purification process immediately. Ask His forgiveness and confess your sins [repent] and His sanctifying process will begin where it left off.

6. God judges the nations just as He judges individuals for failure to worship and acknowledge him as the Lord God Almighty.

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