Monday, November 1, 2010

An insight into zeal

Numbers 25
The Sin of Peor
While Israel remained at Shittim, the people began to play the harlot with the daughters of Moab. For they invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. So Israel joined themselves to Baal of Peor, and the LORD was angry against Israel. The LORD said to Moses, "Take all the leaders of the people and execute them in broad daylight before the LORD, so that the fierce anger of the LORD may turn away from Israel." So Moses said to the judges of Israel, "Each of you slay his men who have joined themselves to Baal of Peor."Then behold, one of the sons of Israel came and brought to his relatives a Midianite woman, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of all the congregation of the sons of Israel, while they were weeping at the doorway of the tent of meeting. When Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he arose from the midst of the congregation and took a spear in his hand, and he went after the man of Israel into the tent and pierced both of them through, the man of Israel and the woman, through the body. So the plague on the sons of Israel was checked. Those who died by the plague were 24,000.
The Zeal of Phinehas 
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned away My wrath from the sons of Israel in that he was jealous with My jealousy among them, so that I did not destroy the sons of Israel in My jealousy. "Therefore say, 'Behold, I give him My covenant of peace; and it shall be for him and his descendants after him, a covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the sons of Israel.'"Now the name of the slain man of Israel who was slain with the Midianite woman, was Zimri the son of Salu, a leader of a father's household among the Simeonites. The name of the Midianite woman who was slain was Cozbi the daughter of Zur, who was head of the people of a father's household in Midian. Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, Be hostile to the Midianites and strike them;for they have been hostile to you with their tricks, with which they have deceived you in the affair of Peor and in the affair of Cozbi, the daughter of the leader of Midian, their sister who was slain on the day of the plague because of Peor."
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So as I have been walking through the Bible these last few weeks I have been looking for new things that God would highlight to me. Things that I hadn't either heard before or that He shows me in a new light. Well I was reading this passage a few minutes ago and was struck by the quality of it. Now this is definitely a matt scheid paraphrase but basically God says 'thanks for killing those people.' 
Now I may be too confined in my thinking, but that's pretty radical as I see it. The dude spears two people through and God is glad about it. Just so that isn't confused, I understand why - that God is glad about people being jealous for His honor but dang. I will freely admit that I am too used to seeing many "Christians" lay down or go with the flow of the world, compromising in both little and big ways very often. But I feel like there is more to this passage and the reality of it then I am grasping right now. 
-"From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force." Matthew 11:12 - 
So really, it could very likely be inferred that Phinehas was taking the kingdom of heaven by violent force. That his concern was not for the things of this world - all its pleasure and passions and past times but for the God who is infinitely greater than all of it!  I am not suggesting that we all go pick up spears and take down all the chosen ones who are prostituting themselves out for the things of this age, but I am saying that we should kind of being doing that. 
It's easy to sit back and watch the world go to poop all around us, to watch the walls of the current sag and crumble under all the junk that we have done but maybe, just maybe we should man up, face up and go after the things that are unbiblical, and displeasing to Him for the things that bring Him honor. But I will end with a question, do you have the zeal to see the incorrect and unjust and preserve things all around? Or instead of turning a deaf hear and blind eye will you pick up the weapon that God has given us (the Bible) and fight and destroy it?