Sunday, July 27, 2008
And Israel joined himself unto Baal-peor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.
1.”And Israel joined himself unto Baal-peor…”
a. joined [6775 * tsamad] [Strongs: to link, i.e., gird; figuratively, to serve (mentally); contrive:-fasten, frame; join (self).
[Gesenius: to be fastened, i.e., to adhere, “he adhered to Baal-peor”, devoted himself to his
1). Within the definition of joined is the concept of “to serve mentally”. This will surface later in the study in importance.
b. Fornication, sexual immorality was an integral part of the worship of Baal-peor.
1). Numbers 25:6-9 “And 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 the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
And 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;
And 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.”
c. This incident is mentioned more than once in the New Testament.
1). Revelation 2:14 “But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.”
2). 1 Corinthians 10:8 “Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.”
d. Idolatry is spiritual fornication also. When the Apostle Paul was warning the Corinthians against fornication he said so.
1). 1 Corinthians 6:15-17 “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.
What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? For two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
2). The individual who commits fornication is not only fornicating physically, but also spiritually.
1 Corinthians 2:1
And I brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
1.”And I brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or wisdom…”
a. When Paul first came to Corinth in Acts 18 he had just come from Athens.
1). Acts 18:1 “After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;”
b. Athens at this time was the world capital of philosophy. It was in Athens that Paul was forced to appear before the philosophers on Mars Hill.
c. Some Bible scholars believe that Paul was disappointed with the results in Athens.
1). Saint Paul, the Traveler and Roman Citizen, William M. Ramsay. Reprinted 1925 Edition, 1982, Baker Book House, Second printing 1985. P252. “It would appear that Paul was disappointed and perhaps disillusioned by his experience in Athens. He felt that he had gone at least as far as was right in the way of presenting his doctrine in a from suited to the current philosophy; and the result had been little more than naught. When he went on from Athens to Corinth, he no longer spoke in the philosophic style. In replying afterwards to the unfavorable comparison between his preaching and the more philosophical style of Apollos, he told the Corinthians that, when he came among them, he “determined not to know anything save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Cor.11:2); and nowhere throughout his writings is he so hard on the wise, the philosophers, and the dialecticians, as when he defends the way in which he had presented Christianity at Corinth.
d. Whether or not that is true it is a fact that Paul left a body of believers in Athens.
1). Acts 17:34 “Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
2). Paul later wrote in 1 Corinthians 16:15 of the household of Stephanas as being the firstfruits of Achaia; Athens was in Achaia not in Macedonia as was Thessalonica and Berea.