While the Israelites were camped at Acacia Grove, some of the men defiled themselves by having sexual relations with local Moabite women. These women invited them to attend sacrifices to their gods, so the Israelites feasted with them and worshiped the gods of Moab. In this way, Israel joined in the worship of Baal of Peor, causing the Lord ’s anger to blaze against his people. The Lord issued the following command to Moses: “Seize all the ringleaders and execute them before the Lord in broad daylight, so his fierce anger will turn away from the people of Israel.” So Moses ordered Israel’s judges, “Each of you must put to death the men under your authority who have joined in worshiping Baal of Peor.” Just then one of the Israelite men brought a Midianite woman into his tent, right before the eyes of Moses and all the people, as everyone was weeping at the entrance of the Tabernacle. When Phinehas son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron the priest saw this, he jumped up and left the assembly. He took a spear and rushed after the man into his tent. Phinehas thrust the spear all the way through the man’s body and into the woman’s stomach. So the plague against the Israelites was stopped, but not before 24,000 people had died. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Phinehas son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron the priest has turned my anger away from the Israelites by being as zealous among them as I was. So I stopped destroying all Israel as I had intended to do in my zealous anger. Now tell him that I am making my special covenant of peace with him. In this covenant, I give him and his descendants a permanent right to the priesthood, for in his zeal for me, his God, he purified the people of Israel, making them right with me. ”
Numbers 25:1-13 NLT
One man, who had a divine jealousy for God’s will to be done on earth, as it is in heaven, saved a whole people and brought peace through his obedience. His righteous amber towards evil and wickedness, and his obedience left this man and woman, forever called out by name in the Word of God as transgressors.
This action was not taken by Phineas in anger towards these two, but in bold obedience to God. It was not a judgement that Phineas executed against their hearts – the commandmen came from God and out of love for His God, he obeyed without wavering. This was not heartless or cruel, it was the justice of God made visible to the world.
Regardless of some modern perversions of the Word of God, Jesus didn’t just “come for sinners” – He “came for sinners to bring them to repentance”. In fact Jesus tells us that His call will “raise those who did good to salvation and those who did evil to judgement”. His name is not a free pass to continue in wickedness. This grace once planted in us, now alive and abiding is the power to tread on the head of temptation, and for our lives to be a living testimony of the power of the blood of the Lamb to supply an annointing of power, love, and self control.
Do you put your full trust in what the Word of God speaks into your daily life?
Or do you put your trust in what some king surrounded by his followers has convinced you that it says? Or in what lies the world has to sell you?
Or are there more pressing matters in your day than consulting a God that you cannot hear, a book that you cannot understand, and a religion that looks to you like hatred, judgement, and hypocrisy?
At that time Hanani the seer came to King Asa and told him, “Because you have put your trust in the king of Aram instead of in the Lord your God, you missed your chance to destroy the army of the king of Aram. Don’t you remember what happened to the Ethiopians and Libyans and their vast army, with all of their chariots and charioteers? At that time you relied on the Lord , and he handed them over to you. The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. What a fool you have been! From now on you will be at war.” Asa became so angry with Hanani for saying this that he threw him into prison and put him in stocks. At that time Asa also began to oppress some of his people.
2 Chronicles 16:7-10 NLT
Fully trusting is our opportunity to see victory reign in our lives, to know that righteous jealousy for the Lord, to know that justified hatred towards sin and death, and to know the love of being your brother’s keeper. And why does it matter that we warn our brother and sister of the coming judgement (besides the example that Christ gave us, preaching “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand!”)?
It is that righteous jealousy that Paul felt for the Corinthians when he said:
For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!
II Corinthians 11:2-4 NKJV
Yes, Christ taught repentance, and that the wicked would go to destruction and the redeemed would know eternal life and life abundant. And that life abundant is witnessed and demonstrated in the lives of the Apostles and martyrs who are jealous enough towards their God to face persecution, trial, and suffering in this world. He did not say, “Build up a great amusement for my people that will stir their emotions and promise them more in this life.” No, He told us to lay down our lives, to deny ourselves, to love others, and to be bold in the truth. His example was to turn over the tables of the money changers. Oh, that He would turn over the tables of so many that make merchandise of the gospel! That merchandise saying “We follow Paul” or “We follow Mark” or “We follow XXX church/preacher” would be replaced with materials sharing the name of Jesus Christ and the Word of God. But the name above all names takes a backseat in places that worship and exalt themselves – and this merchandise cries out and testifies against us, Lord! This half hearted trust in you, Lord, leaves so many powerless – either not acknowledging the power that exists to set them free – or refusing to enter in themselves and barring the way for others.
Belief, faith, or the lack of it is manifest in our lives.
You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
Matthew 7:16-21 NKJV
And it matters:
And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
John 3:19-21 NKJV
Choose belief, whole hearted belief, unashamed belief, unwavering faith that abides, that remains:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
John 3:16-17 NKJV
Find your divine jealousy for the Lord, world changer.