Mar 01 Numbers 25 12 KJV

by Guest Writer, Fran Coffield

We live in a world filled with turmoil, lies, deceit, murders. There are gang wars, national wars, family wars, even wars within many churches. Yet, Jesus said, “Peace I give unto you..” (John 14:27). So, why is peace so elusive?

In the 25th chapter of Numbers, we find that God’s people sinned by committing spiritual adultery, in other words, they left God to worship the idol, Baal. As a result, the anger of the Lord was kindled again them (vs.3) and God judged the idol worshipers harshly. Twenty-four thousand people died as a result of their sin.

When Phinehas, a priest, took action against the idol worshipers, God turned away His wrath (v. 11) and promised peace to Phinehas and his descendants “because he was zealous for his God and made an atonement for the children of Israel.” (vs. 13)

Peace can never be found in a heart with unconfessed sin. Isaiah 48:22 states, “There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked.” If we put anything before God — wealth, position, family, pleasure, hobbies — we are guilty of idolatry. If we lie, steal, gossip, or do anything to dishonor God we commit sin. We cannot find peace when we have unconfessed sin.

But, God is also full of mercy and grace and eager to forgive confessed sin. True peace is found not in the absence of conflict, but often in the midst of conflict. Ephesians 2:14 teaches, “For He (Christ Jesus) is our peace…” and we learn in Galatians 5:22 that peace is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Confession of and repentance from sin is the key to lasting peace.

Today, we are not much different than Israel. We may not worship Baal, but we are just as guilty of idolatry as Israel was. Our idols today might be our spouse, children, family, health, wealth, power, position, or jobs.  Just as Israel experienced peace when they had a right relationship with God, our world today will only find peace from the wars and sin that plague us when we zealously turn our hearts back to God in true repentance and acknowledge Him as Lord. God stands just as ready to forgive us today as He did Israel when they repented. Only then can we experience lasting peace.

God, harden not our hearts against you. Remove our hearts of stone and give us hearts of flesh. Place a new Spirit within us and may we search for You with all our heart, mind, and soul. Draw us to repentance and forgive us where we have turned away from you. Help us, o Lord, to be zealous for you. Restore peace to our land. 

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