Seeds of Promise Series by Shenica Graham
Cozbi: A Princess of Midian
Women of The Bible
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Devotional Reading: Numbers 25:1-3 AMP
1 Israel settled down and remained in Shittim, and the people began to play the harlot with the daughters of Moab, 2 Who invited the [Israelites] to the sacrifices of their gods, and [they] ate and bowed down to Moab’s gods. 3 So Israel joined himself to [the god] Baal of Peor. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel.
When God blessed the Israelites, He did such phenomenal works for them, it is a wonder that they did not remain faithful in their hearts to Him. In today’s reading, the Israelites began worshiping the false, idol gods of the Moabites. Worship is an intimate act of relationship to what occupies your worship. To say that the Israelites “joined themselves” to a false god, means that they gave themselves up to worshiping the false god. They created a soul tie with something other than God; and God had already told them that He was a jealous God; that the Isrealites should have no other god before Him. Their murmuring and complaining about God and Moses opened a door of discontentment that allowed the people to attempt to satiate themselves with something other than God.
Devotional Reading: Numbers 25:4-13 AMP
4 And the Lord said to Moses, Take all the leaders or chiefs of the people, and hang them before the Lord in the sun [after killing them], that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel. 5 And Moses said to the judges of Israel, Each one of you slay his men who joined themselves to Baal of Peor. 6 And behold, one of the Israelites came and brought to his brethren a Midianite woman in the sight of Moses and of all the congregation of Israel while they were weeping at the door of the Tent of Meeting [over the divine judgment and the punishment]. 7 And when Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from the midst of the congregation and took a spear in his hand 8 And went after the man of Israel into the inner room and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel and the woman through her body. Then the [smiting] plague was stayed from the Israelites. 9 Nevertheless those who died in the [smiting] plague were 24,000. 10 And the Lord said to Moses, 11 Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned my wrath away from the Israelites, in that he was jealous with My jealousy among them, so that I did not consume the Israelites in My jealousy. 12 Therefore say, Behold, I give to Phinehas the priest My covenant of peace. 13 And he shall have it, and his descendants after him, the covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the Israelites.
God told Moses to command the princes of the people to slay or be slain, according to their worship of Baal Peor. God wanted to purge His people of idolatry and adulterous worship. Apparently, Phinehas felt the jealousy of God toward His people, and acted to slay a couple that had slipped passed the slaying of others who had already been killed. Phinehas took it upon himself to not allow the jealousy of the LORD to continue to slay his people because idolators were allowed to rest among them after they were commanded to slay them.
Devotional Reading: Numbers 25:14-18 AMP
14 Now the man of Israel who was slain with the Midianite woman was Zimri son of Salu, a head of a father’s house among the Simeonites. 15 And the Midianite woman who was slain was Cozbi daughter of Zur; he was head of a father’s house in Midian. 16 And the Lord said to Moses, 17 Provoke hostilities with the Midianites and attack them, 18 For they harass you with their wiles with which they have beguiled you in the matter of Peor, and of Cozbi, the daughter of the prince of Midian, their sister, who was slain on the day of the plague in the matter of Peor.
The Israelites had history with the Midianites, they being the people who took Moses in when he fled from the face of Pharaoh before the Exodus. The woman who was slain was a daughter Zur, a Prince of Midian. However, it is implied that she helped to corrupt the people with the religion of her people, which were not in the worship of the Almighty God and they tempted the Israelites to sin, and many followed in worshiping false gods and eating what was sacrificed to false gods. Therefore they worshiped these gods and kindled the fierce jealousy and anger of the true God.