March 16

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“In this way, Israel joined in the worship of Baal of Peor, causing the Lord’s anger to blaze against his people” (Numbers 25:3 NLT).

From: March 16, 2019

WHAT ARE THE “BAAL”s OF TODAY?

Balaam was unable to curse Israel because they were under God’s blessing. So according to Numbers 31:16 he advised another way to harm them from within by tempting them to worship other gods. The Midianites and the Moabites were distant kin of the Jews. Yet, they had fallen into idolatry. It was their wicked and sexual Baal worship that turned many Jews aside and caused them to stumble. The word “Baal” means “Master, Lord, or Owner.” Here, the name “Baal of Peor” probably meant “Lord of Mt. Peor,” as pagan worship was often identified with a mountain. The Israelites could not be cursed or defeated in battle, but they could be tempted to break the first of the commandments and to put another master before the Lord their God.
 
The evil one cannot stop the church, but he can tempt its members to commit adultery by loving another god more than the LORD. What are the modern “baals” of today? Sex, money, possessions, and power, these are the false idols of today. Wait a minute. They were the same for the Israelites too!
 
PRAYER: Lord, we love you, but we so quickly give our first love to another. Today, we rededicate ourselves to loving you with priority. Lord Jesus, you said that if we loved you we would keep your commandments. Help us to abide in you, so that we are able to please you first above all. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress” (Psalm 59:16 NLT).

From: March 16, 2018

STARTING YOUR DAY WITH WORSHIP
David wrote this psalm regarding the time that Saul was pursuing him to kill him. Yet, notice how he determined to begin each day. He started his days with singing and thanksgiving for God’s power and love and for being his refuge during hard times. David knew how to “encourage himself in the Lord” (1 Sam. 30:6 KJV). He knew how to get his morning praise on to get his day started right with God.
 
Have you learned to begin each morning with singing and praise? It will change your day!

“Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:34-35 NKJV).

From: March 16, 2017

Two “beholds.” The “behold” of old Simeon pointed to the “behold” of Jesus on the cross.
 
When Joseph and Mary took eight-day old Jesus up from Bethlehem to Jerusalem to be circumcised, they were met in the temple by a man who was diligently waiting for the Christ. It had been revealed to him by the Spirit that he would not die before seeing the Messiah. As soon as he saw the Child, he took him into his arms and blessed him. Then, he turned to Mary and said, “Behold… a sword will pierce through you own soul.” Now, that’s a strange thing to say to the mother at a bris! “He’s a beautiful baby, but he will cause you to feel like a sword pierced your heart!”
 
Surely, the “behold” of Simeon must have flashed across her memory as she stood at the cross and heard her crucified Son say to her, “Woman, behold your son.” Jesus said this to Mary as he turned her care over to his disciple John. And to John he said, “Behold your mother.”
 
The Spirit had revealed this day to old Simeon and now Mary saw it with her own eyes, “Behold, the Christ who dies on a cross for the sins of humanity.”

“Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him My covenant of peace; and it shall be to him and his descendants after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was zealous for his God, and made atonement for the children of Israel'” (Numbers 25:12-13 NKJV)

From: March 16, 2015

Although the incident that elevated the Aaronic priest, Phinehas, seems brutal to modern eyes, it resulted in a special covenant that God made with the tribe of Levi. This seems to be what Malachi 2:4 and 2:8 refer to as the “covenant of Levi.” God turned the curse that Jacob spoke over Levi (Gen. 49:5-7) on his deathbed, into a blessing. True, Levi would still be “scattered” in Israel as Jacob prophesied, but God made the tribe His special possession. The covenant with Levi was one of “peace” and of an “everlasting priesthood.” Depending on one’s eschatology, some would say that this covenant was inherited by the Church. While others would say that God still has a future for Israel and the Levites in a Millennial Temple.

“In this way, Israel joined in the worship of Baal of Peor, causing the Lord’s anger to blaze against his people” (Numbers 25:3 NLT)

From: March 16, 2014

Balaam was unable to curse Israel because they were under God’s blessing. So according to Numbers 31:16 he advised another way to harm them from within by tempting them to worship other gods. The Midianites and the Moabites were distant kin of the Jews. Yet, they had fallen into idolatry. It was their wicked and sexual Baal worship that turned many Jews aside and caused them to stumble. The word “Baal” means “Master, Lord, or Owner.” Here, the name “Baal of Peor” probably meant “Lord of Mt. Peor,” as pagan worship was often identified with a mountain. The Israelites could not be cursed or defeated in battle, but they could be tempted to break the first of the commandments and to put another master before the Lord their God.