Fanaticism or Faithfulness?
24 Tammuz 5776
There is much for today to learn from the story of Pinchas. The Creator had given Moshe instructions to put a stop to the sin of harlotry that the Israelites were committing. Moshe was fed up and did nothing. Pinchas took matters into his own hands and put a spear through Zimri and Cozbi who were in open defiance of the Almighty’s command. Because of his action, the Creator gave Pinchas the Brit Shalom – בְּרִית שָׁלוֹם or covenant of peace and the Brit Kehunat olam – בְּרִית כְּהֻנַּת עוֹלָם or the covenant of priesthood forever. The action of Pinchas brought Israel back to life. He didn’t do it for the sake of our Creator but for the sake of Israel. Our great rabbi and prophet, Messiah Yeshua experienced this as well when he overturned the tables of the money changers at the Temple. Pinchas saw that the plague was destroying Israel because of the Moabite and Midianite women. Bilaam knew that he couldn’t curse Israel so he told Balak that the God of Israel was a jealous God and that if the people of Israel were unfaithful to Him, He would destroy them. He told them that these foreign women could get them to bow down to Baal – Peor before engaging in sex with them. There is a very important principle to learn from this —Israel as a nation cannot be destroyed by other nations; it can only be destroyed by the action of the people within. The Creator was about to destroy them. It is important to see what they were doing to be able to see what we are dealing with in this modern age. We have become so liberal that everything is accepted. Our Creator does not want us to fall into the trap of being like the other nations. Israel had committed another great mistake like the one we saw in 1Samuel 8 ff when they decided they wanted a king in order to be like the other nations. Today we as a people believe that we no longer need any values, morality or ethics and instead prefer to be libertine copying the rest of the world. Our relationship with the Creator however sets us apart from the rest and we have a responsibility to live at a higher standard.
If Pinchas killed Zimri and Cozbi does this mean that we need to take it literally and continue to do that today? Of course not. The principle is that we need to be careful that we are not contributing to the destruction of Israel. Today the world is politically, theologically and sociologically correct while all that our Creator is asking us to be is morally and ethically correct and to be faithful to His teachings. Just because everyone is doing something, that doesn’t make it right. That is what Pinchas means today. When you accept the behavior of the majority as being okay, you may think that you are keeping the peace but all that you are bringing is destruction. Instead you need to stand up not in judgment but in truth for what is right. Everyone is free to do what they want to do but it doesn’t make it right. It is not about fighting but about speaking out. Sadly most of the developed countries today have become wishy-washy. Everything is accepted and that is destroying our society because of our own unwillingness to stand up and speak out for what is right. Pinchas stood up for the welfare of his people not to defend the Creator. He doesn’t need defenders. My God is big enough to defend Himself and He doesn’t need me; I am privileged to be called to serve Him. If He is limited to what I believe about Him, He is very small indeed. At the time of Pinchas, Balak and Bilaam, their gods were local but the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the only true universal God. There is no other beside Him yesterday, today and forever!