Monday, October 1, 2012

Not lacking in zeal, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord…

Have you ever had a conversation with someone about the authority of Scripture and felt yourself buried by the acceptance of infinite caveats and pleas to contextualization of every mandate or command? I have been contemplating this recently and just last night read Numbers 25 with new eyes…  

“He was zealous for my sake among them…Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace: 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.” Numbers 25:11-13 

These verses are speaking of Eleazer’s son, Phinehas, a ruler of the Korahites and a civil authority in Israel. The Israelites were afflicted with a plague because they joined themselves with the daughters of Midian who worshiped Baal. One man, in direct defiance of God’s command presents a Midianite woman to the congregation. Phinehas could have waited for someone else to say something; he could have reasoned with this man about the negative consequences of his choice, he could have threatened to neglect his own responsibility somehow in an attempt to compel the man to change his mind…. But no, he rose up to do his duty as a civil magistrate under a more than common emotion of spirit and slew both of them, possibly taking the sword from the hand of Moses to execute justice as some of the Jew’s records say. God is pleased and gives “unto him My covenant of peace”. As Gill summarizes, “he was zealous for my sake among you; for the glory of God, the honour of his law, the credit of religion, and the good of his people… in which he was a type of Christ, whose zeal for the house of God, for the doctrine, discipline, and worship of it, for the salvation of his people, and the glory of God thereby, ate him up (Psalm 69:9).” 

So, what is my response when men disregard the Word of God, when they claim His law is dead and His Holy Word errant! “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should repent. Has He said and will He not do? Or has He spoken and will He not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19) Do I wait idly by for others to seek out the truth in Scripture and defend the Word of God? Or shall I unsheathe my sword, open the word of God and declare it in its entirety to be the holy inspired, inerrant, self-validating, living and active, discerning and powerful, convicting, sanctifying, righteousness defining, obedience commanding, currently applicable, contextually effectual, sufficient for all of life and practice, fully authoritative word of our sovereign God? May I, like Phinehas, be zealous for my God and when I read His Word have the attitude of Balaam, “…the utterance of the man whose eyes are opened; the utterance of him who hears the words of God, and has the knowledge of the Most High, who sees the vision of the Almighty, who falls down with eyes wide open.” (Numbers 24:16)

No comments: