“And indeed, one of the children of Israel came and presented to his brethren a Midianite woman in the sight of Moses and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. Now when Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose from among the congregation and took a javelin in his hand; 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 body. So the plague was stopped among the children of Israel.”
Numbers 25:6-8 NKJV
We are in darkening times. In these days of fluid morality, it is hard for one who knows the Lord to walk consistently in the Spirit. The draw of sin is powerful and it is everywhere. We are surrounded by temptations, and it is easy to slip and blend into this sinful world. Additionally, it is becoming more difficult to stand apart from the culture as God’s peculiar people.
Recently, it was reported, and later confirmed that a much revered apologist for the Christian faith was found, after his death, to have had a double life. He had engaged in sexual sin. With in the context of the world, one would hardly notice the things he did. But as a “man of God”, his actions had grave consequences for the spreading of the Gospel.
As I read in Numbers this morning, I saw how devastating it can be to become one with the world. The children of Israel had found themselves caught up in sin, as they had begun to blend into the culture around them. To deal with the situation, the LORD had brought a plague, bringing the congregation into repentance, as they were momentarily broken over what had happened.
In the midst of this contrite moment, a man from the congregation had taken a woman not of his people to his tent. He made no effort to hide it. It was if he was completely separated from what was happening around him. His sin was on display, for he had ceased to consider the expectations of his God or his people.
Phinehas stood out from the group and grabbed a javalin and speared through the man and the woman, killing them in their sin. The plague was stopped.
We are nearing a time when the Gospel will be at the forefront and we will have to be fully committed to the work God has called us to do. The time is short, and we must be about the Father’s busness. We are also in a situation when the draw of sin is great, as the evil one seeks to draw us away from the great commission and after our own lust. We must remember whose we are.
“But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”
Ephesians 5:3-5 NKJV
The individual testimony is the most powerful tool that we have, as we take the Good News to the world. When we have fallen into sin, we cease to be effective witnesses, as the world no longer sees our peculiarity. We are no better than them, and we dull the glory of God.
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
Ephesians 5:15-16 NKJV
We must walk carefully in these perilous times. We are standing at a great doorway of opportunity, as the our world is in obvious decline, and many are looking for hope. I am finding that so many encounters I have with unbelievers are tinged with fear and dispair. Many are looking at us for hope. Sadly, many more are looking at us to justiify their continued sin.
Every time a person who has called upon the name of Jesus stumbles, the world is quick to mock. Go forth today with a desire to be the one who stops the plague of sin for one person.
I endeavor each day, to be my own Phinehas, seeking the Lord to pierce my heart, and deal with my sin. By the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, I try to remember that I am dead to sin.
“For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”
Colossians 3:3, 5 NKJV
Let us be holy before the Lord, even though the world is not. Let us abide in Jesus, through prayer, His word, and fellowship.
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