They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and were the means of turning the Israelites away from the Lord in what happened at Peor, so that a plague struck the Lord’s people (Numbers 31:16 NIV).
Influences that turn you away from the Lord are everywhere. God commands you not to tolerate such influences in your life.
In this incident recorded here, God had asked the Israelites to take vengeance on the Midianites. This was because they deceived the Israelites by making them commit sexual immorality with their women. When they had thus trapped the Israelites they also invited them to worship their gods. They relied on this deception when their earlier attempts to curse the Israelites through a prophet named Balaam had ended with him pronouncing a blessing on them instead of a curse. God sent a plague against the Israelites for their sin and in one day 24,000 died because of sexual immorality.
Now when God asked the Israelites to take vengeance on the Midianites they did so. But they spared all the women. Moses became angry with them and pointed out that it was those women who had turned them away from the Lord. They were not to be spared.
In your battle against sin how often do you spare the things and influences that turn you away from the Lord? This kind of soft attitude towards it can cause your ruin. In fact, you should remember that you are having a kind of unholy alliance with such influences. They not only defile you but also lead you to greater sins. Finally, they turn you to the worship of other gods and idols. So be very careful. See that you are not tolerating evil influences in your life.
Another important thing to note is that these women had tempted the Israelites and led them into sin on the advice of Balaam. He could not put a curse on the Israelites because God had blessed them. So he acted deceptively and made the Midianite women cause Israel to sin. You whom God has blessed take warning. No one can put a curse on you because God has blessed you. But they can deceive you through sinful influences. So be warned. And do not play with or have soft attitude towards any sinful influence that turns you away from the Lord.