Numbers 25:1-18, vs. “10 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 11 “Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned back My wrath from the children of Israel, because he was zealous with My zeal among them, so that I did not consume the children of Israel in My zeal. 12 Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him My covenant of peace; 13 and it shall be to him and his descendants after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was zealous for his God, and made atonement for the children of Israel.’”
Phinehas act in killing Zimri turned God’s wrath from the Israelites from more people dying. At this point about 24,000 had died. Who knows if Moses confronted him on his action and God had to come on Phinehas’ rescue. Vs. 10 says “10 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 11 “Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned back My wrath from the children of Israel, because he was zealous with My zeal among them, so that I did not consume the children of Israel in My zeal”. Phinehas had God’s zeal and in that he acted.
God called Phinehas’ zeal His zeal to show it originated with Him. “Though he did no more than it was his duty to do as a judge, yet because he did it with extraordinary zeal against sin, and for the honour of God and Israel, and did it when the other judges, out of respect to Zimri’s character as a prince, were afraid, and declined doing it, therefore God showed himself particularly well pleased with him, and it was counted to him for righteousness”, Matthew Henry.
Today more and more leaders in the Christian circles have committed idolatry by perverting the gospel (introducing heresy), mixed with metaphysical stuff, advanced in the worldly ways of doing things etc. While many leaders who should stand and speak against such have been quite which in some ways have given seal of approval or empowered such to continue in their perverse ways. In the midst of it all, there have been a few Phinehases who have had the zeal of God to thrust the javelin (God’s word) at the heart of the perversion. This past week there was a conference “Strange fire Conference” led by Pastor John McArthur at Grace Community church dealing with this perversion especially in the charismatic circles that has taken over most of the Christian television network with bizarre teachings and actions. While I did not agree with everything that was said at the conference, I applaud men who are willing to stand and defend the gospel and it’s truth from those who have hijacked it at all costs. These men at the conference joined men like David Wilkerson, Leonard Ravenhill, Carter Conlon, Dr. Walter Martin among others who with such great zeal have spoken against those in this movement who have perverted the gospel. This only happens when the zeal of God consumes you.
Phinehas’ “spirit was stirred up, he was filled and fired with zeal for the glory of God, and with an holy indignation against the sin and sinner, and with a just concern for the honour of the righteous law of God; and, to prevent others from falling into the same sin, led by the public example of so great a personage, as it appears afterwards this man was:”, John Gill.
This same zeal is seen when Jesus in Matthew 21 went into His house only to find that His house of prayer, house of worship had been turned into a house of trade. He said they had turned it into a den of thieves. A place where leaders of the day did business, used His house to make merchandise off God’s people. When He stepped in with holy anger to drive away these people and restore the house, “ … His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.”, John 2:17, echoing Psalm 69:9.
Why is this important?, because Phinehas here is a type of Christ, whose zeal for the house of God, for purity of the doctrine, Godly discipline, and worship of it, for the salvation of His people, and the glory of God thereby, ate him up and had to do something and for that he was commended for.
The act of Phinehas not only saved the present generation, it also preserved the purity of priesthood for the future generation. Numbers 25:12-13, “12 Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him My covenant of peace; 13 and it shall be to him and his descendants after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was zealous for his God, and made atonement for the children of Israel.’”
If we don’t step up now and speak boldly against those perverting the gospel, who will? Those who have zeal for God should take the true gospel as the javelin and pierce through the heart of the perversion to stop it from living and doing more harm. If we don’t fight for our children by exposing the charlatans and cleaning up the house now, how will they stand when we are gone or are in no position to defend them?
“It is requisite that ministers should be not only for God, but zealous for God. It is required of them that they do more than others for the support and advancement of the interests of God’s kingdom among men”, Matthew Henry. Moses kept silent so were the other leaders, Phinehas chose to rise up and challenge those who defied the truth and the honor of God. Matthew 11:12, “ And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force” May the Lord help us. , Blessings Ev