Study from Numbers 25 and 31; Passage for Reflection: Numbers 25: 7-8 … NIV 7 Now when Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose from among the congregation and took a javelin in his hand; 8 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 body. So the plague was stopped among the children of Israel.
My Journal for Today: Yes, the climate of political justice in the days of Moses was different than it is today; but moral justice, God’s moral justice, never changes. And Phinehas, Aaron’s grandson and the son of the Priest of God’s people becomes a moral example, a personal picture of how we have lost our sense of moral righteousness in today’s world. Of course, in the world we live in, we cannot – and should not – take it upon ourselves to kill someone who is an outright and open sinner against God’s Name. That is not the message which, from our New Covenant we would get from THE ONE we follow, Jesus, the Christ.
As I write this, a man is being tried for murdering George Tiller, the abortionist who admittedly carried out thousands of late term abortions in Kansas City. Is this man who is on trial for killing Tiller – in a Church, no less – a modern day Phinehas? Of course not! He is murderer! And we’d get the wrong message if we took today’s passage and used it to justify the striking down of an open murderer of children like George Tiller by carrying out murder ourselves.
So, how do we interpret God’s justification of Phinehas in that day and the unjustified homicide of George Tiller today? What Godly, New Covenant lesson do we get from Phinehas’ action to apply in today’s worldly climate where sin is being glossed over and God is being mocked as he was in Moses’ day? Well, we can say that we need to have the zeal toward righteousness which Phinehas had; but we need to exercise that zeal within the model of Christlikeness which was exemplified by our Lord when He walked this earth. We cannot take a righteous and zealous hatred of sin, which we should all have in our hearts and exercise that hatred of sin by sinning grievously against our fellow human beings. That was THE message Jesus was trying to impart in the Sermon on the Mount, was it not?
But we can choose to hate sin in our own hearts with the zeal of a Phinehas; and we can, even in the codes of conduct of our present culture, do all we can to crucify the sin in our own hearts and lives and then to be a warrior against sin in our cuture. God has given us the power, through the Holy Spirit residing in our hearts as Christians, to murder sin in our lives. We can act out our anger against the open sinfulness we see in our world by not succumbing to the nonjudgmental, tolerance culture we find all around us today. We can be a Phinehas by standing up and demanding our political representatives represent BIBLICAL moral values.
I need to be asking myself and possibly you need to ask yourself these things …
... What am I doing to follow Christ as He demanded in Luke 9: 23?
... Am I being the “living sacrifice” of a 24/7 lifestyle of worship exhorted by God in Romans 12: 1-2?
... Am I showing myself to be a warrior to kill sin in myself and my culture as exhorted by Eph. 6: 10-18?
If I can answer “YES” to these questions, I think I can be a Phinehas to kill sin in my own life and to be God’s warrior against sin in my world. To that end I will set myself on God’s narrow road.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, help me kill the sin in me; and stand against sin in my world. Amen