Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy. ~Numbers 25:11
This morning, our attention and focus is on the son of Eleazar and the grandson of Aaron. His name is Phinehas. His name means “the face of trust.” He is noteworthy for being righteous and doing the right thing at the right time.
We see his moral conviction.
“And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand.” Israel fell lusting after the gods of the Moabites, and there was widespread immorality of the men of Israel with the Moabite women. To top this off, one man named Zimri, in full view of the leaders, took a Midianitish woman into his tent. God’s judgment against the sinners was already making its way throughout the camp. Phinehas saw what Zimri was doing, grabbed a javelin, ran into the man’s tent, and stabbed him and this woman to stop their blatant misdeed. Phinehas was a righteous man who had deeply-embedded convictions against sin. A conviction is a non-negotiable belief that you will not change. It is a belief that you are so strong about that you will take a stand and even put your life at risk to defend that belief. Righteous men are marked by their biblical convictions.
We see his mighty courage.
When we think about the quick response and action of Phinehas, there was an immense amount of courage and bravery involved. First, he was the only man among millions who took such a stand. Second, he was not squeamish and did not have second thoughts about dealing with the issue. Third, he had a greater fear of God than he had of the opinions and judgments of men. When I think about his courage, he was more courageous than Eleazar, Aaron, Moses, and Joshua. Righteous courage knows that the right thing to do is to deal with sin head on and not let the potential backlash or criticism hold you back. In dealing with sin and doctrinal drift, men of God must have a strong backbone and an incredible courage, and they must go all the way.
We see his merited commendation.
God is the One Who gives a meritorious commendation of Phinehas. He was zealous for the name sake of the Lord. The word used for “zealous” is used in the context of being jealous for another person. He publicly demonstrated a burning zeal for the holiness and glory of God. He was swift and without wavering in dealing with an issue that could have led to an extended period of God’s chastening hand on the nation. The kind of zeal displayed by Eleazar was doctrinally sound, morally right, and nationally correct. Growing up, it was embedded into his heart that he was to uphold and protect the glory of God. We need believers who have zeal like Phinehas. This kind of zeal starts and is sustained by a fervent prayer life, a daily quickening from God’s Word, keeping close to friends who have the same convictions, and the decision to do right no matter what.
Phinehas gave honor to God, his father, his grandfather, and the leadership of Israel. He became the face of trust for the nation and would, one day, be his father’s unquestionable successor as the high priest. Spiritual leadership is always earned and is never a right. Study his life, and be ready to do the right thing.
Have a zealous God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Mark 10-11