28They joined themselves also unto Baalpeor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead.
29Thus they provoked him to anger with their inventions: and the plague brake in upon them.
30Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: and so the plague was stayed.
31And that was counted unto him for righteousness unto all generations for evermore.
Could it get any worse for the nation of Israel? Repeatedly they had sinned against the Lord their God, and now, as they were on the brink of going into the Promised Land they sinned yet again. The account is found in Numbers 25.
1And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.
2And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.
3And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel. (Numbers 25:1-3, King James Version)
No longer were the Israelites content to attempt to cover their sins, but now they sinned openly before the Lord their God. Moses, in an attempt to appease God's anger, commanded that the judges put to death all of those who sinned by committing whoredom with the Moabite women. Then, right before Moses and all of the congregation an Israelite man appeared with a Moabite woman.
6And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
7And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand;
8And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. (Numbers 25:6-8, King James Version)
In our day of sexual promiscuity, we would not think too much of the incident; even as Christian teens our senses have become dulled and we have lost our righteous indignation when we see our society become even more wicked. Even many Christian teens do not have a problem with sex before marriage. We have become comfortable modeling our lives after the world, and have lost sight of the desire to live holy and pure lives before God our Father.
It should not be so! God is righteous, pure, holy, and sinless, and demands the same of His children. Though we will always battle our sin nature on this side of heaven, we are called to slay sin in our own lives and cry out to God to help us to live a holy and pure life before Him.
That really is the issue, you know. We look at others and think, "I am really not all that bad. I do not sin like the unbelievers do." That is our problem. We are not to compare ourselves to the unbelievers or even to our fellow Christian teens. How does our life compare to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ? That is the real question.
By the grace of God may God's people shake off the dust of complacency that has gripped their hearts and minds, and seek to live a pure and holy life before God. May God fill us with righteous indignation against our own personal sins, and then let us seek to be a people who are wholly set apart to God. In doing so, let us return to the Godly model given to us in God's Holy Word and turn our backs on the selfish worldly model of living for our own glory and pleasure.
There is no such thing as a little sin, or even a little white lie. It only took one sin by Adam and Eve and all of creation has suffered ever since. Let us go to God who in His tender love and mercy has sent His own Son to take the penalty for all of our sins, and ask forgiveness for not living before Him as we ought to live. Then let us cry out for His mercy and help to live the remainder of our days to His honor and glory alone.
As Christian teens, you are the next generation. Will you continue the pattern set before you by the world, or will you take up the banner of the Lord Jesus Christ and set a new standard based upon the principles taught us in God's Holy Word? My prayer is that you will be strong and stalwart in the Lord and show the world what it really means to be a Christian teen in the 21st Century.
You will be mocked and scorned by the world, but you will be loved by the Lord Jesus Christ. Which is more important?
God Bless You,