Time to get up and act - be Phinehas
Psalms 106:30 -
Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: and so the plague was stayed.
Before we go into today's message let us go into the background of today's scripture.
The Israelites went through great difficulties in their journey through the wilderness. They did rebel and disappoint the Lord by their lack of faith whenever there was lack of amenities or problems with leadership but the greatest difficulty they had was not facing the lack but facing the abundance.
Very rarely did the Israelites dwell near commercial habited areas and when this incident happened they had settled near the Moabite city. The Moabites enticed the Israelites with their more comfortable dwelling-places, and more pleasant mode of life, to lasciviousness, and the indulgence of filthy lusts. The Moabites on the counsel of Balaam sent their women to prostitute themselves to the Israelites so as to remove them from the favour of God and bring them into the wrath of God.
The Israelites feared Moses and mostly when they went against Moses, they did so in his absences or without his knowledge. There were hardly 3 or 4 incidents through the 40years where they openly confronted Moses and his authority, and this was one among them.
The Moabites were so desperate to destroy the Israelites that even the princes sent their daughters and sisters to seduce them to worship their gods and do whoredom with them. The Israelites did, not only worship the idol gods of Moab but had the courage to bring the Moabite women into the camp and into their family tents to do whoredom.
One such incident happened right before Moses and some of the Israelites who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle because the anger of God was kindled against Israel and a plaque was in the camp.
What we see, even though there was a plague those who were doing whoredom with the gods and the daughters of Moab were not moved by it. They were so blinded by their desires of lasciviousness and filthy lust that sanity was lost.
At this moment we see even though Moses was there it took the zeal of a person named Phinehas to turn away the wrath of God and stop the plague. Phinehas before this incident is introduced simply as the grandson of Aaron through Eleazar. While all the people were praying and weeping before the Lord it took the zeal of this young man to act, instead of just praying and weeping, and this zeal pleased God and turned away the wrath and made peace with God. Although there was a great Man of God like Moses who would talk to God face to face in the dark clouds, yet it took the zeal of this simple no one to turn away the wrath of God.
We see Jesus did not just prayer all day to make peace between God and man even though His prayers were more powerful than any man who walked on the face of this earth, He too acted. I am not against prayer, for prayer is an essential part of Christian life and should be continuous and not for short periods. But what disappoints me is when people only prayer and do not act. They do not go out and witness or preach (prophesy and teach) the Kingdom of God. During periods of great difficulties and problems is not the time to just pray, it is time to get up and act as a Christian and not kneel and cry to God the whole day.
If water to a plant is equal to prayer to a Christian, photosynthesis is equal to living of Christian life and experience (testimony) to the spreading of roots. No plant can survive for long without leaves and roots.
There is more power in living a Christian life then praying as a good Christian, for even the act of one person can please God and take away His wrath from a community.
Today the Lord is telling us it is time to get up and act. It is time to be Christians and not just talk of Christianity.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, many are deceived from living a Christian life for they think praying is the greatest part of being Christian and not doing your Will. Lord Jesus when You commissioned us to be Christians You instructed us to go out and do all that You instructed and not sit in a cosy place and call out your name. Lord, when we pray to You, You do open doors, but there are few among us who walk through these doors, all desire instant results with the least efforts. Lord, You would not have written the history of man and of him getting saved over thousands of years if You desired instant and easy results. You know it is only through time and experience your Fruits can be grown into man...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
1 And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.
2 And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.
3 And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.
4 And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel.
5 And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor.
6 And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
7 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;
8 And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.
9 And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.
10 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
11 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.
12 Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace:
13 And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel.
14 Now the name of the Israelite that was slain, even that was slain with the Midianitish woman, was Zimri, the son of Salu, a prince of a chief house among the Simeonites.
15 And the name of the Midianitish woman that was slain was Cozbi, the daughter of Zur; he was head over a people, and of a chief house in Midian.
16 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
17 Vex the Midianites, and smite them:
18 For they vex you with their wiles, wherewith they have beguiled you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of a prince of Midian, their sister, which was slain in the day of the plague for Peor's sake.
15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
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