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Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Harass the Midianites, and attack them; for they harassed you with their schemes.” (Numbers 25:16-18)

Because Midan “harassed” and “beguiled” Israel in the matter of Peor, Israel was to consider them enemies and cause them distress. In fact, the infinitive form of the Hebrew word translated as “attack” infers this to be an ongoing state of affairs. In other words, this hostility between the two is alive and well today. Actually, that this remains a current struggle is quite evident when you consider that the Midianites are ancestors to many who live in the Arab-Muslim world — not really known for their tolerance of Jews and Israel.

Rabbinical sources teach that this state of war between Israel and Midian was to demonstrate to Israel that what they saw as attractive was, in reality, an enemy. The immorality exhibited by Midian and others was a tremendous threat to Israel’s existence, and especially considering that the threat was no so obvious — at least to those easily disarmed by things that are attractive to the eye. Therefore, in the case of Midian, they had to be viewed as a constant enemy and, thus, harassed and smitten. And so we are reminded, once again, how important it is to keep our eyes on the Messiah and not everything that sparkles and shines.

To present something as beautiful, attractive and even “good,” when in reality, the something is dangerous and deadly is the tactic the Adversary has used from the very beginning. The fruit he seduced Eve with was from a tree identified as “good and evil,” but I guarantee you he didn’t show her the “evil” side of it. He always tempts with what looks good to the eye and that appeals to our senses in order to conceal the corruption that hides within. We should not be surprised at this seeing that he often comes as a minister of light — in other words, posing as something he isn’t. It behooves us, therefore, to remain diligent and be discerning lest we, like Israel, are beguiled by his schemes. For our sake and for the sake of others, we must stay focused.

Blessings and Shalom,  




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