Now the name of the Israelite who was killed, who was killed with the Midianite woman, was Zimri the son of Salu, a leader of a father’s house among the Simeonites. And the name of the Midianite woman who was killed was Cozbi the daughter of Zur; he was head of the people of a father’s house in Midian. (Numbers 25:14-15)
Not only are we given the name of the man who sinned – Zimri of Simeon — but are also informed of his position and status in the nation. His father was a leader within the tribe of Simeon and was, most likely, well known among his clan. The Midianite woman, Cozbi, was also a notable person among her people, being the daughter of a Midianite chieftain. The point is, their status and notoriety did not cause Phineas to hesitate in his actions. Perhaps he didn’t know who they were and perhaps he did; it didn’t matter to him — they were rebels encroaching upon a sacred space.
Where Zimri was concerned, he knew better and did it anyway. Where Cozbi is concerned, can you imagine being the daughter of someone so intent on destroying his enemy that he would give his daughter over to harlotry? Actually, it isn’t too hard of a stretch to say that this still goes on today. Rather than merely sending their daughters to be a seductress, the enemies of God’s people are prone to strapping explosives to their women and children if it means they can kill their enemy.
So what is the point we are making today? There have always been and will always be the enemies without and the enemies within. We know there are those who hate the people of God and will stop at nothing in order to disrupt God’s purpose and agenda. Though dangerous, they are often easy to spot — it’s the enemy within that we really have to be on guard against. They are the ones who look like us, to some degree act like us, and most often speak as we do. However, as we see, their true colors show through in times of trouble and temptation. Let us continually be aware and guard our hearts and actions lest we fall under their influence and into their snare. In short, keep your eyes on the Messiah.
Blessings and Shalom,