October 16, 2022 Bible Reading
October 16, 2022
Today, we’re going to look at one of my heroes: Phinehas. The grandson of Aaron, his story takes place while the Israelites were wandering in the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land.
The previous chapters tell us that Israel had just been through an ordeal. The king of Moab was worried that they would attack him (even though God told them they couldn’t), and he hired Balaam (the guy whose donkey talked) to curse them.
Only God wouldn’t let Balaam curse them. Every time he tried, all he could do is bless Israel. (Not exactly what the king of Moab was paying him to do!)
But Balaam still had a plan. He taught the Moabites how to trap the Israelites and cause them to sin against God. The Moabite women seduced the Israelite men and caused them to participate in the sensual Moabite religious system.
The Israelite men fell into their trap. God’s anger was aroused against the entire Israelite community.
God basically told them, “Get rid of the sin or I will judge you!”
Moses and the children of Israel obeyed God’s instructions. The entire congregation was rededicated to God. They learned a hard lesson and were back on track. You would think they would never want to sin with the other nations again. Problem solved; lesson learned. I wish the story ended that way, but as we continue on, we see the opposite.
Then an Israelite man brought into the camp a Midianite woman right before the eyes of Moses and the whole assembly of Israel while they were weeping at the entrance to the tent of meeting. (Numbers 25:6, NIV)
Can you believe it? Can you imagine the sheer audacity of this man? In direct defiance and rebellion to God, this man went and took his Midianite girlfriend, the daughter of the head Midianite priest, into the Tent of Meeting!
In the holy presence of God, they had sex to worship Baal!! If this wasn’t offensive enough, he did it on the day that Israel was trying to get right with God and remove the sin from their lives!
If God wasn’t already angry with the nation of Israel and willing to destroy them, He was now! Something had to be done—immediately!
This is where we meet Phinehas. Numbers tells us that Phinehas was so outraged, jumped in and took action.
After seeing the horrific display of defiance against God, he was immediately filled with a righteous, holy indignation. Phinehas loved God and his nation. He couldn’t stand by and let this pompous, rebellious traitor bring judgment on his people. He grabs a spear, runs up to the rebellious couple, and slams his spear directly through them both while they were having sex! WOW! I love this man.
Can you imagine how much strength it took to do this? Here’s where he got it:
The Lord said to Moses, “Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, has turned my anger away from the Israelites. Since he was as zealous for my honor among them as I am, I did not put an end to them in my zeal. Therefore tell him I am making my covenant of peace with him. He and his descendants will have a covenant of a lasting priesthood, because he was zealous for the honor of his God and made atonement for the Israelites.” (Numbers 25:10-13, NIV)
God declared that Phinehas was “zealous with My Zeal.” He had an eager desire, an enthusiasm, to see the holiness of God defended. He loved God so much that he was jealous for God’s sake. He hated that this man was, in essence, cheating on God. He felt the same pain that God was feeling, and he took action to end it.
This is part of being a ride or die man of God. While we obviously should't kill people with swords (that was a cultural thing for that time), like Phineas, we must hate evil. We cannot tolerate it. When we see sin in our lives, we must do whatever it takes to get rid of it.
Look around you. Is there something in your life that is a blatant sin against God?
Just as Phinehas used all of his strength to eliminate sin from Israel, so you need to use all of your strength to eradicate the sin in your life. We can’t play around with it. We need to be passionate about living holy lives for Jesus and do whatever it takes to overcome and destroy the sin in our lives. We need to stand for God’s righteousness: ride or die.
Today’s Scripture: But Phinehas stood up and intervened, and the plague was checked. This was credited to him as righteousness for endless generations to come. (Psalm 106:30-31, NIV)
By Jamie Holden
Founder, Mantour Ministries
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.