WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Last week we said that Numbers is a book full of warnings. 1 Corinthians 10:8 says, “[Do not] let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day.” This is a reference to Numbers 25, where the people of Israel commit spiritual adultery against God as they pursue sexual immorality with the idolatrous daughters of Moab. The fact that the Apostle Paul cites this history when writing to the mostly Gentile church in Corinth teaches us about how we are to read the Old Testament. It really is for us. In this particular case, we should take note of the consequences of sinning against the Lord—and then flee from immorality!
When we see the severe consequences of immorality in this passage (tens of thousands of people dying in one day), we might think to ourselves: If God hates immorality so much, why aren’t people falling down dead left and right today, especially in a place as perverse as America?
Well, actually, they are. It’s just that the dead ones are invisible, so we don’t often recognize the fatal consequences of our immorality. In 2021 alone, 20,716 Ohioan children were put to death through abortion. Since 2010, more than 250,000 innocent children of Ohio residents have been murdered in their mothers’ wombs. And that’s only counting what are commonly referred to as “induced” abortions. Which is to say, it does not include deaths from the birth control pills, IUDs, and other chemical and hormonal methods of birth control we use to try and avoid the consequences of our sexual sins.
We may not feel like this is God’s judgment. After all, isn’t it our own choice to put our children to death? And isn’t that different than God sending a plague? (We’ll just skip over the fact that we’ve recently experienced literal plague in our nation.) But think about this: What could be a more terrible judgment than so many of our own little children being destroyed? Most cultures throughout the world and throughout history would see the deaths of tens of millions of our own offspring as infinitely more horrible than the deaths of only 23,000 people in one day. If we don’t see it that way, it’s because we are perverse.
The prophet Hosea prophesied against the people of Israel for their rebellion against God. Listen to this particular judgment which was pronounced against them:
Samaria will be held guilty,
For she has rebelled against her God.
They will fall by the sword,
Their little ones will be dashed in pieces,
And their pregnant women will be ripped open.
It’s easy to deceive ourselves, but Scripture’s testimony is clear. Sexual sin leads to death. And this is true of even private sins like lust and indulgence in pornography, which foster a culture of immorality and thus lead to the same kind of death which eventually falls on the heads of our children. We’ve gotten very good at hiding our sin and the consequences of our sin, but the blood of our little ones cries out to God from the ground (Gen. 4:10).
VERSES TO MEDITATE ON
Give the king Your judgments, O God,
And Your righteousness to the king’s son.
May he judge Your people with righteousness
And Your afflicted with justice.
Let the mountains bring peace to the people,
And the hills, in righteousness.
May he vindicate the afflicted of the people,
Save the children of the needy
And crush the oppressor.
HOW TO PRAY
- Adoration – Praise God for His patience in withholding His judgment on our society.
- Confession – Confess sins of sexual immorality to the Lord, especially the sinful desires of your own heart.
- Thanksgiving – Thank God for His kind blessing of children.
- Supplication – Ask God for wisdom knowing how you can personally stand against the evil of abortion.