Day 87 of the Holy Bible One Year Challenge. Israelites worship Baal, then 24,000 of them die. Phinehas kills 2 sinners with 1 spear. Jesus raises a boy from death.

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Numbers 23:27-30

Numbers 24

Numbers 25

Luke 7:11-35

Psalm 38:1-11

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Show Transcript

Numbers 23:27-30

27 Then Balak said to Balaam, “So come with me to another place. Maybe God will be pleased and will allow you to curse them from that place.”
 

28 So Balak led Balaam to the top of Mount Peor, which looks out over the desert.
 

29 Balaam said, “Build seven altars here. Then prepare seven bulls and seven rams for the altars.”
 

30 Balak did what Balaam asked. Balak offered the bulls and rams on the altars.

 

Numbers 24

Balaam’s Third Message

Balaam saw that the LORD wanted to bless Israel, so he did not try to change that by using any kind of magic. But Balaam turned and looked towards the desert. 2 He saw all the Israelites with each tribe in a separate camp. Then the Spirit of God came on him, 3 and he gave this message: “This message is from Balaam son of Beor. I am speaking about things I see clearly. 4 These are the words I heard from God. I saw what God All-Powerful showed me. I humbly tell what I clearly see.
 

5 “People of Jacob, your tents are beautiful! Israelites, your homes are beautiful! 6 You are like rows of palm trees planted by the streams. You are like gardens growing by the rivers. You are like sweet-smelling bushes planted by the LORD. You are like cedar trees growing by the water. 7 You will always have enough water, enough water for your seeds to grow. Your king will be greater than King Agag. Your kingdom will be very great. 
 

8 “God brought them out of Egypt; they are as strong as a wild ox. They will defeat all their enemies and break their bones and shatter their arrows. 9 Israel is like a lion, curled up and lying down. Yes, they are like a young lion, and no one wants to wake him! Anyone who blesses you will be blessed. And anyone who curses you will be cursed.”
 

10 When Balak heard this, he angrily struck his fist against his hand and said to Balaam, “I called you to come and curse my enemies. But you have blessed them. You have blessed them three times. 11 Now leave and go home! I told you that I would give you a very good payment, but the LORD has caused you to lose your reward.” 
 

12 Balaam said to Balak, “You sent men to ask me to come. Don’t you remember what I told them? I said, 13 ‘Even if Balak gives me his house filled with silver and gold, I can still say only what the LORD commands me to say. I cannot do anything myself, good or bad. I must say what the LORD commands.’ 14 Now I am going back to my own people. But I will give you this warning. I will tell you what these Israelites will do to your people in the future.”

Balaam’s Last Message
 

15 Then Balaam gave this message: “This message is from Balaam son of Beor. I am speaking about things I see clearly. 16 I heard this message from God. I learned what God Most High taught me. I saw what God All-Powerful showed me. I humbly tell what I clearly see. 17 “I see him coming, but not now. I see him coming, but not soon. Like a star, he will rise from the people of Jacob. He will come as king from the people of Israel. He will crush the heads of the Moabites and crack the skulls of the Shethites. 18 Israel will grow strong! He will get the land of Edom. He will get the land of Seir, his enemy.
 

19 “A new ruler will come from the descendants of Jacob. That ruler will destroy the people left alive in the cities.” 20 Then Balaam saw the Amalekites and said this: “Amalek is the strongest of all nations, but even Amalek will be destroyed!”
 

21 Then Balaam saw the Kenites and said this: “You believe your country is safe, like a bird’s nest high on a mountain. 22 But you Kenites will be destroyed when Assyria takes you away as prisoners.”
 

23 Then Balaam said this: “No one can live when God does this. 24 Ships will come from Cyprus. They will defeat Assyria and Eber, but those ships will also be destroyed.”
 

25 Then Balaam got up and went back home, and Balak went his own way.

 

Numbers 25

Israel at Peor
 

While the Israelites were camped near Acacia, the men committed sexual sins with Moabite women. 2 The Moabite women invited the men to come and join in their sacrifices to their false gods. So the Israelites joined in worshipping these false gods—they ate the sacrifices and worshipped these gods. 3 There the Israelites began worshipping the false god, Baal of Peor. And the LORD became very angry with them.
 

4 The LORD said to Moses, “Get all the leaders of these people. Then kill them so that all the people can see. Lay their bodies before the LORD. Then the LORD will not show his anger against all the Israelites.” 5 So Moses said to Israel’s judges, “Each of you must find the men in your tribe who have joined in worship of the false god, Baal of Peor. Then you must kill these men.”
 

6 Moses and all the leaders of Israel were gathered at the entrance to the Meeting Tent. While they were all crying there, an Israelite man brought a Midianite woman home to his family. Everyone could see what was happening. 7 When Phinehas son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron the priest saw it, he left the meeting and got his spear. 8 He followed the Israelite man into the tent. Then he pushed his spear through both of them—through the Israelite man and into the woman’s stomach. At that time there was a great sickness among the Israelites. But when Phinehas killed these two people, the sickness stopped. 9 But 24,000 people had already died from that sickness.
 

10 The LORD said to Moses, 11 “I was so angry with the Israelites that I wanted to kill them. But Phinehas, son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron the priest, has saved them from my anger. He did this by showing that he feels strongly, just as I do, that my people must worship only me. 12 Tell Phinehas that I am making an agreement of friendship with him. 13 This is the agreement: he and all his family who live after him will always be priests because he was so eager to take action for his God. What he did for the Israelites turned my anger away from them.”
 

14 The Israelite man who was killed with the Midianite woman was named Zimri son of Salu. He was the leader of a family in the tribe of Simeon. 15 And the name of the Midianite woman who was killed was Cozbi.* She was the daughter of Zur. Zur was the head of a family and leader of a Midianite tribe.
 

16 The LORD said to Moses, 17 “The Midianites are your enemies. You must kill them. 18 They have already made you their enemies. They tricked you at Peor. And they tricked you with the woman named Cozbi. She was the daughter of a Midianite leader, but she was killed when the sickness came to the Israelites. That sickness was caused because the people were tricked into worshipping the false god Baal of Peor.”

Luke 7:11-35

Jesus Brings a Woman’s Son Back to Life
 

11 The next day Jesus and his followers went to a town called Nain. A big crowd was traveling with them. 12 When Jesus came near the town gate, he saw some people carrying a dead body. It was the only son of a woman who was a widow. Walking with her were many other people from the town. 13 When the Lord saw the woman, he felt very sorry for her and said, “Don’t cry.”
 

14 He walked to the open coffin and touched it. The men who were carrying the coffin stopped. Jesus spoke to the dead son: “Young man, I tell you, get up!” 15 Then the boy sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. 16 Everyone was filled with fear. They began praising God and said, “A great prophet is here with us!” and “God has come to help his people.” 17 This news about Jesus spread all over Judea and to all the other places around there.
 

John Sends Men to Ask Jesus a Question (Matt. 11:2-19)
 

18 John’s followers told him about all these things. John called for two of his followers. 19 He sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one we heard was coming, or should we wait for someone else?” 20 So the men came to Jesus. They said, “John the Baptizer sent us to you with this question: ‘Are you the one who is coming, or should we wait for someone else?’”
 

21 Right then Jesus healed many people of their sicknesses and diseases. He healed those who had evil spirits and made many who were blind able to see again. 22 Then he said to John’s followers, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: The blind can see. The lame can walk. People with dreaded skin diseases are healed. The deaf can hear. The dead are brought back to life. And the Good News is being told to the poor. 23 Great blessings belong to those who don’t have a problem accepting me.”
 

24 When John’s followers left, Jesus began talking to the people about John: “What did you people go out into the desert to see? Someone who is weak, like a stem of grass blowing in the wind? 25 Really, what did you expect to see? Someone dressed in fine clothes? Of course not. People who wear fancy clothes and live in luxury are all in kings’ palaces. 26 So what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, John is a prophet. But I tell you, he is more than that. 27 This Scripture was written about him: ‘Listen! I will send my messenger ahead of you. He will prepare the way for you.’ 28 I tell you, no one ever born is greater than John. But even the least important person in God’s kingdom is greater than John.”
 

29 (When the people heard this, they all agreed that God’s teaching was good. Even the tax collectors agreed. These were the people who were baptized by John. 30 But the Pharisees and experts in the law refused to accept God’s plan for themselves; they did not let John baptize them.)
 

31 “What can I say to describe the people who live today? What can I compare them to? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and whining at their friends, ‘We played flute music for you, but you would not dance; we sang a sad song, but you would not cry.’ 33 John the Baptizer came and did not eat the usual food or drink wine. And you say, ‘He has a demon inside him.’
 

34 The Son of Man came eating and drinking. And you say, ‘Look at him! He eats too much and drinks too much wine! He is a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!’ 35 But wisdom is shown to be right by those who accept it.”

 

Psalm 38:1-11

A song of David for the day of remembrance.

 

Lord, don’t criticize me when you are angry. Don’t discipline me in anger.
 

2 You have hurt me. You punished me and hurt me deeply.
 

3 You punished me severely, so my whole body is sore. I sinned, and now all my bones hurt.
 

4 My guilt is like a heavy burden. I am sinking beneath its weight.
 

5 I did a foolish thing, and now I have infected sores that stink.
 

6 I am bent and bowed down. I am depressed all day long.
 

7 I am burning with fever, and my whole body hurts.
 

8 I hurt so much I cannot feel anything. My pounding heart makes me scream!
 

9 My Lord, you heard my groaning. You can hear my sighs.
 

10 My heart is pounding. My strength is gone, and I am going blind.
 

11 Because of my sickness, my friends and neighbors will not visit me; my family will not come near me.