Sometimes, when reading the word of God, I feel like I’m watching a horror movie. You know, the kind where you see one of the characters about to go into the room hiding the psychotic killer? You scream at the screen, “Don’t open that door!” But it’s no good. She opens the door and meets her doom.
This week’s Torah portion in Numbers 25 is like that.
Right out of the box, we see the machinations of Satan have not changed since the beginning of time.
In the garden, Satan couldn’t come right out and curse Adam and Eve. No, he didn’t have that kind of power…and he knew it. Instead, he had to resort to deception and trickery to get Adam and Eve to curse themselves. How? By appealing to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life. And he succeeded. They did what God warned they shouldn’t do, and were kicked out of paradise; they lost fellowship with God.
Can you imagine seeing God face-to-face every day? Blows my mind and causes my heart to long for heaven all the more. And they gave all that up for knowledge. They gave all that up for pride. And Satan won the day.
This week’s reading in Numbers shows us that nothing has changed in Satan’s tactics. Last week’s portion dealt with Balaam, as the hired gun of the Midianites and Moabites, trying over and over to curse God’s people. Over and over God stepped in and stopped him, turning the curse into a blessing. God won the day.
So what did the enemy do? You guessed it – trickery and deceit. The Moabites and Midianites sent their daughters to lure the men of Israel into relationship with them, and to join them in their sacrificial feast to their god. And the men fell for it. They brought upon themselves a plague that killed 24,000 people. They did to themselves what the enemy could not do to them.
There are many more examples of this throughout the Bible. Like I said, a horror film that gets you screaming at the screen, “Don’t open that door!”
But the good news is that we have a lot of examples in God’s word to teach us the ways of the enemy that keep us from opening that door to destruction.
How? Be zealous for the Lord. The word clearly gives us blessings and curses – blessing for right living and curses for wrong living. But don’t just leave it at head knowledge. Paul tells us to be zealous for good works (Tit 2:14).
The blood of Jesus already won the day. Let’s not take His blood for granted and bring curses on ourselves. Let’s walk in the Spirit, who writes God’s word on our heart, so that we might not sin against Him and bring a curse on our own head.
Satan can’t win as long as we don’t let him. Don’t open that door!