(This is a brief from the Sunday Morning message preached on Sunday, August 11, 2019 at Calvary Baptist Church. The full message can be heard at the the bottom of this post.)

Numbers 25 reads like a modern scandal. A nation of God-fearing people get drawn away by the multi-layered seduction of idol-worshipping babes – one of which is named Cozbi. After three short verses, there are enough converts to the Baal religion that the writer can make the blanket statement: “…Israel joined himself unto Baal-peor.” By far the most fascinating aspect of this tale is not the lurid details of religious and literal whoredom, but the passivity of the Spiritual Leadership!

First, God clearly tells Moses to deal with the heads of the tribes – he’s to publicly execute them as an example of tolerating this blatant idolatry. Moses, who will retire soon, isn’t ready to make waves, and so he gathers the judges and passes the buck to them: “Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baal-peor.” (vs 5) Surprise, surprise, they also do… nothing. The anger of God intensifies, and soon a plague spreads among the people. 

It appears that all hope is lost. The sin is so blatant, that a man named Zimri brings his new Midianite girlfriend, Cozbi, right through the campus of the tabernacle. While the faithful few are openly weeping before God, the happy couple saunters before the face of God and everybody!

It is here that someone finally steps up. Phinehas’ job is to guard the Tabernacle campus. He is to specifically to keep anything impure from taking place. (The Cozbi situation sort of qualifies as unclean!) He doesn’t delay. He sees the situation, rises up, grabs a javelin and makes a Cozbi/Zimri shish kabob right there. And the judgment halts. 

Cozbi may not be literally knocking at our door, but many Christian families have one or more of her sisters hanging around. In the name of Liberty, Christians have allowed influences into their lives that their flesh cannot handle. Oh it’s justified in one way or another- in a similar way that a nation of God-fearing people began slipping. 

The fact that Christians can be exposed to the strategic attacks of a worldly system is not shocking. What ought to shock us is that Christian husbands, mothers, leaders, etc, are content to pass the buck while it festers. Each one of us has a God-given area of responsibility. It may be a family which we are supposed to raise in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. It could be a Sunday school class, or a group of coworkers we see each day. Perhaps a particular neighborhood or group of friends that need someone to deal with a “Cozbi.” 

I hadn’t studied Phinehas in detail before this. I used to think of him as a wild-eyed crazy who carried a javelin like those guys who bring AR-15’s into a Starbucks because the 2nd Amendment. He’s a good guy, but maybe a little on the aggressive side. But now I realize it was needed. (Phinehas’ zeal, not necessarily the Starbucks guys…)

The world needs men and women to enforce a zero tolerance policy on spiritual whoredom. See what’s going on in your area, stand up for what is right, and take care of business. When you see a violation of right in your zone, make this the last episode of the Cozbi Show.