“…the people began to commit harlotry with the women of Moab. They invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. So Israel was joined to Baal of Peor, and the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel” (Nu 25:1-3)
This is one of the saddest stories in the Bible. The children of God are ready to cross River Jordan and to enter the Promised Land. Face to face with their hopes, as a nation, they fall to temptation. Prophet Balaam could not curse Israel. So he devised a strategy more deadly than a direct curse. He counseled Barak to send foreign women in the camp of Israel. Balaam told him that Jehovah God is very jealous over His people and He wants them separated from other nations, to be pure and holy like Him. If they succeed in making the Jewish men fall to sexual sins, bringing them to the worship their gods, Jehovah Himself will punish Israel. This wicked occult counsel is called ‘the doctrine of Balaam’.
The strategy worked. The men committed adultery with the pagan women and followed them to worship Baal Peor. As Balaam predicted God got angry with His people and sent a plague among them. More than 24 thousand died as a result.
In the midst of it all, Phineas the priest, the grandson of Aaron, intervened. He saw a Jewish man shamelessly committing fornication with a Midian woman. Angrily, he killed them both with the spear. Then the anger of God subsided and the plague steeped. Because Phineas was jealous for God’s name and reputation, he was blessed by God. For this singular act he received the approval of God as a covenant of peace, to him and his descendants. Then God commands His people to treat the Midianites as enemies and to fight them. They killed the kings of Midian. Balaam was also among the dead.
The idol called ‘Baal Peor’ was worshiped thru acts of sexual immorality in the hope of receiving material blessings. I read that the least sacrifice the worshippers had to do is to get naked in public. The idol has gone but the demon is still active. Even today, the demon tells foolish people to naked themselves for others to see them. Medically, this is called Exhibitionism and it is considered a psychiatric disorder. But the root of it is clearly spiritual, demonic. This unholy practice arises from an evil desire to expose the nakedness to friends or to strangers, with the intent to shock them, for their amusement or perverted sexual satisfaction. The people who indulge in this activity do so for many reasons: to sexually arouse themselves and others, to create admiration, disgust, anger, intimidation or fear in the victims. The root of this demonic sickness is to feel in control of their world, by spiritually polluting the environment. These wretched people want to shock others into submission to their demon. In many countries indecent exposure it is considered a criminal offence. Other demons connected with this idolatry lead to premarital sex, cohabiting together, homosexuality, pornography, pedophilia and other sins. The doctrine of Balaam says that you can call yourself a Christian and in the same time indulge in all these sadistic perverted sins and that God will approve of it. That is a lie! God is angry with the wicked ever day (Ps 7:11).
What are the lessons for us? The breaking of the seventh commandment leads to the breaking of all the rest. Adultery leads to idolatry, lying, stealing, slander, rebellion, covetousness and other sins. The devil has used sex as a weapon from the beginning of the human race. Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed until they fell to the sin of rebellion. Then shame became part of their lives. Balaam’s tragic life is a warning to all who desire to do ministry but refuse to give God the glory. The devil can never be a friend. Sometimes he pretends to be a helper, a poor man in need, a victim or a minister of God. But in reality, he hates God and His children. He will attack the believers trying to steal their blessings. It is a dangerous thing to willingly enter the reckless path of temptation. It only leads to more sin, frustration, anger, pain, spiritual blindness, disgrace and eventually, death. There is no safety there. God hates and punishes sin. The Cross is a proof to that!
As a true believer, trust that even in the midst of temptation, God is on your side. He will overturn the counsel of the wicked and change their curses into added blessings! Lastly, be like Phineas, jealous over God’s name and glory! Then the peace of God shall be on you and your children!
In Christ I declare:
I hate evil and sin!
I reject all evil, unclean spirits of false prophets!
I hate all wrong doctrines of demons!
I preach only Christ and Him crucified!
God will turn my enemy’s curses into blessings!
The Peace of God is upon my home!
In Jesus name