Friday, March 4, 2011

"Drive a Spear"

Num 25:7-8, 10-12 New Century Version

“Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest,… got his spear. He followed the Israelite into his tent and drove his spear through both the Israelite man and the Midianite woman. Then the terrible sickness among the Israelites stopped.”

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, has saved the Israelites from my anger. He hates sin as much as I do. Since he tried to save my honor among them, I will not kill them. So tell Phinehas that I am making my peace agreement with him.’”

Hatred and peace are closely related. There can be no peace without hatred of that which disrupts the peace. Tolerance of sin creates an environment that guarantees conflict. If I allow my child to pull his sister’s hair, I am setting both children up for a hostile clash of wills. There will be no peace until I insist on conformity to fair and equal standards for all children in the home. If I learn to hate hair-pulling as much as the victim, I will care enough to set up boundaries that protect everyone and together we will enjoy peace in the family.

Similarly, lust and peace cannot co-inhabit a man’s heart. Do not buy the lie that lust hurts no one but yourself. Our secret sin has a ripple effect, impacting others in ways we may never know. The war in our soul drives us to isolation, which always hurts the people we love the most.

Is it possible to hate sin as much as God does? Phinehas did. As “God’s servant, an agent of wrath” (Romans 13.4), Phinehas drove a spear through the wayward Israelite and his Midianite sex object. As a result, God made a “peace agreement with him”. 423 Men are called to man-up to the 423 challenge: “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4.23). No guarding of your heart, no springs of life. No hatred of sin, no peace with God.

God hates sin. If I want peace with Him I must hate sin as He does. But sin feels good and nicely numbs me from the pain of personal issues I’d rather not face. Occasionally, like a child pulling his sibling’s hair, I am tempted to rebel against God. I want chase after my Midianite whore... look at a little porn, mentally undress another man’s wife, or sexualize a woman, maybe even a sister in Christ. Tolerating a any minimum level of sin falls short of the standard and intensity of Phinehas. That I am in league with every other human...

“...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Romans 3.23 no excuse or easy way out.

For the wages of sin is death, but the
free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 6.23

Thank God for Jesus Christ who saves me from “the wages of [my] sin”. May God grant you and me a spirit of Phinehas and the courage to drive a spear through the heart of our fallen desires.

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