BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 24, Day 4: Numbers 25:1-5

Summary of passage:  While Israel camped, the men engaged in sexual immorality with Moabite women.  The Israelites joined them in worshipping false gods and God’s anger burned.  The Lord ordered those who engaged in false god worship killed.


8a)  To indulge in sexual immorality with pagan women and join them in worshipping false gods, breaking two of the ten commandments and the law against being with unbelievers.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The consequences of that sin.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Not sure here.  I didn’t worship any false gods.  I did worship God.  He continues to provide for my every need in every way always.

9)  The people are about to cross over into the Promised Land.  They need to be godly people and fulfill God’s will and desire for them to be separate and a standard to look up to.  Plus, everything is going well for the Israelites.  Their enemies are afraid.  God just blessed them through Balaam.  Now, one of the oldest tricks in the book, sexual sin, is threatening to take down the Israelites.  God must stop this now.  It must be made clear to the Israelites that this sin is unacceptable.  As most of us know, sin and especially sexual sin, only leads to more sin.  And sin God will not tolerate.

Conclusions:  I liked this in how we see the devil never giving up in trying to take down God’s people.  I like how God answers:  swiftly and severely.  I didn’t like the personal questions at all.  They took the wind out of this passage for me as I paused and had to deliberate.  This passage speaks for itself and sometimes I think the passage gets lost when we try to inject ourselves and our experiences.  Instead of being about God’s word, it’s about us.  History is history and yes we learn from history, but facts are facts.

Example:  John F Kennedy was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald for no other reason than for evil purposes and to gain notoriety.  In all the history books I’ve read about this historical event, not one has asked me about myself personally or how I applied his death to my life.  It was a tragic event as history both past and present are full of tragic events.  This will never change because man himself never changes.  Deep down we are sinners.  The devil grabs a hold of some people and never lets go despite God’s word.  Deep down we are all capable of murder.  Deep down we are undeserving of God’s mercy.  Deep down we are evil.

Point being:  not everything applies to us personally.  We all know if you do evil, you will face consequences either here on earth or in heaven.  We all know (even unbelievers) deep down who we should worship and who we shouldn’t worship.  We all know as Balaam discovered we will either be blessed or cursed by our decisions.

I am utterly frustrated here with the broad generalizations that are so broad (not even sexual sin is pinpointed here) that I am left with a headache in trying to figure out how to narrow it down.

End Notes:  In some Bible translations you will see Midianites instead of Moabites here. They are indeed separate peoples who at the time were living in the same general area.

We’ve seen Baal before, a constant threat to the Israelites as he was a popular fertility god that promoted sexual sin.

Note how Balak could not curse the Israelites but God can and does–because of disobedience. We ourselves bring upon our own destruction, not others.

Balaam is credited with suggesting this idea of sending in women to seduce the men (Numbers 31:16; Revelation 2:14).  However, he didn’t live very long (Numbers 31:7-8).  God’s judgment was swift upon him.

Map of Shittim:

This map shows just how close the Israelites are to the Promised Land and God is taking no chances in His plans being thwarted now:

5 thoughts on “BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 24, Day 4: Numbers 25:1-5

  1. I guess I feel chatty this morning.. as this is my 3rd comment.
    Again.. I liked the personal questions.. and one of your replies to them.
    8b: We choose the consequences of sin. I agree!

    And the dismissiveness/minimum discussion of sexual sin. So, so pervasive in all the world. And contributes so, so much to the tangled webs of our lives.

    and 8c: This was good for me this week as I have been inconsistent in my attendance at Sunday church..due to differences in music preferences (I don’t fight it, just don’t attend) and a change in pastoral positions and it is very, very young now. I went this week and it was very edifying! Both in message,in fellowship and I just read the notes for Lesson 23/Numbers 21 and some points of the message were reinforced there. I do agree that sometimes some personal questions feel not applicable (to some), but it is surprising in the group how it touches others.


  2. Regarding Question 8(b), I would like to expound what else we choose when we choose to sin. I agree with AtoZ and Carlamcs that when we sin we must live with the consequences of that sin, even though God has forgiven us if we are faithful to confess our sin, ask forgiveness, and repent. Also, when we sin, we choose to sin against God as well as to our fellow man/woman. I also think that an important aspect of our choosing sin is that we are separated from the close fellowship and relationship to our Lord. Our salvation is not in doubt if we are true believers when we choose to sin, but we do lose that closeness and intimacy with God. That is why David cried out after his sin with Bathsheba in Ps 51: 10-11 to restore his JOY of his salvation. He knew his salvation was secure, but he was out of fellowship and closeness with the Lord as evidenced by many of his Psalms that have been recorded. When I sin, I find that I tend to hide from God, and I surely miss His presence. I know He is always with me, but my sin separates me from Him for a short period, and that really grieves me until I ask for forgiveness and get back into His great Grace.


    1. Julia, that is a perfect description of the consequences of sin I think BSF is looking for in this question. I just think sometimes by Day 4 we are “tired”of writing. 🙂 With personal questions, I usually have to come back to them because I can’t think of good examples off the top of my head.
      I guess if the personal questions bother someone enough, they might consider just skipping them…


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