Monday, July 18: Numbers 25- Sex and worship.

Verses 1-3: While Israel was staying in Shittim, the men began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women, who invited them to the sacrifices to their gods. The people ate the sacrificial meal and bowed down before these gods. So Israel yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor. And the LORD’s anger burned against them.

So many betrayals begin with sex. Sex is a root from which so many people drift or turn from the Lord. I thought about so many clergy fallen on the sword of illicit sex. Even more I contemplated the link between sex and worship. More than mere intercourse, this sex was somehow connected to Baal worship, to sacrifices to Baal of Peor and in indulging, the text says, they had yoked themselves to Baal of Peor. 

The Greeks, too, mixed sex and idol worship.

Maybe it is the self-abandoning of sex or the intimacy, two becoming one, that conjoined sex and worship for the ancients.  Maybe as one of the strongest appetites, demons know sex is an easy lure for hapless humans.  I don’t know. Certainly other possibilities exist. I am left to wonderings because Scripture is silent as to the connection.

As I close my eyes and wander between pondering and prayer, I see so many lives and many a person’s faith destroyed on the bed of illicit sex.

As my culture strays further and further from God’s design for sex (one woman + one man in marriage for life), I see the pile of damaged lives growing exponentially.

A faint smile grows on my face as my thoughts shift to God’s warnings, Do not commit adultery, do not covet, flee sexual immorality and so on**. The Lord warned us of sex’s lure and danger. God erected a fence to protect us but we climb over, we tunnel under, and lately we work to dismantle God’s fence.

My redeemed heart and eyes see God’s rules, His laws not as cages to contain us but guardrails to protect us from tragedy and even death –physical and spiritual.

In my heart grows gratitude for God who loves me, loves us…

Oh, God, who is love, my heart sings Your praise. Thank You for protecting me… forgive me for the many times I misunderstood your protection and scorned You for ‘rules’. Help me to see the beauty of life lived Your way. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.


**7th & 10th commandments, 1Corinthians 6:18 and so many more places in Scripture)



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