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Whose Pleasure Does My Worship Reflect


Numbers 25:1-13

Verse 11 “Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, has turned my anger away from the Israelites. Since he was as zealous for my honor among them as I am, I did not put an end to them in my zeal.”

Yesterday we completed our study of Balaam, a false prophet, who was God’s mouthpiece in speaking blessings over the Israelites. But just because God wanted to bless His people doesn’t mean that they wanted to obey Him in the way that He had commanded.

As the people of Israel moved into the area of the Promised Land they found themselves among nations devoted to other gods. Their time in the wilderness was filled with moments of God revealing Himself and His commands to His people and yet as soon as they come into an area where there are false gods, they are willing to go in and worship them as well as defile themselves by living in ways that are against God’s commands. Did you notice where the false gods were from? Moab. Do you remember who the king of Moab was? King Balak. Yesterday we talked about the king’s anger and today we see God’s anger and it is obvious the king’s anger is small potatoes in light of God’s anger. Yet there is a difference between the two angers other than the fierceness.

God’s anger wasn’t about not getting His way. God’s anger was more about the sinfulness of the people. Through their actions they were saying that they didn’t worship Him alone. They were worshiping other gods but more than that they were worshiping themselves by giving into their own physical desires. They were marring His name because they were saying by their actions that God wasn’t good enough. That He wasn’t enough, they wanted more. The cared more about what pleased them, than what would please God. God had a right to be angry.

He is zealous for His people, then and now. He had gone to many extremes to provide for them and care for them. Hasn’t He done the same for us? That begs the question, what is required of us? Should we live for our own pleasure or for His? Isn’t that what worship is, to seek His pleasures over our own? That is how we hold Him above ourselves in pure worship.

Making It Personal

Have you ever questioned yourself about whether you are doing something for His pleasure or your own? What is one area of pleasure in your life that God would say is not pleasing to Him? What choices do you need to change in life?

Making It Personal Kids

Game day! Choose two leaders (maybe mom and dad) and have them each lead their group in a game of follow the leader. The rest of the family gets to choose which group they want to follow. After a few minutes of the game stop and compare the differences between the paths the two groups take. Now discuss how God’s people choose to obey Him or disobey Him and the problems that can cause when they don’t obey.

Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for being so zealous about us. Please guide us so that we know what is the truth about our choices. May we learn to want Your pleasures for our own. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Martin, MI 49070

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