PMT 2014-055b by Don Strickland
Malachi 1:10: “Oh that there were one among you who would shut the gates, that you might not uselessly kindle fire on My altar!”
In Numbers 25, an account is given concerning God’s people being enticed away to worship idols by illicit relationships with the women of Moab. God sends a plague as judgment. This plague only ends when Phinehas takes matters into his own hands by driving a spear through a couple who are openly flaunting their prohibited relationship in front of all Israel. Twenty-four thousand people died before someone took action.
In the passage above, lamenting that Israel has defiled its worship of Him, God longs for someone to take action to stop the perversion of His worship and this corruption of His people. Did no one have the courage to take action? Apparently not. Israel continued down their chosen path when 400 years later they rejected the Messiah and the temple in Jerusalem, the focal point of their worship, is destroyed.
Abortion has been freely performed in our country for over 35 years. The perversion of homosexuality is now a morally acceptable lifestyle. What is good, right and true is now called evil, intolerant and relative. What only a few years ago was honorable is now despised. How long before we say, “Enough!” to the sins of our culture? Not many of us will have the opportunity, like Phinehas, to drive a spear into the sin of our day in such a dramatic and final fashion. But we are presented with opportunities to live for Christ each moment, and if we are faithful in small matters, perhaps our Lord will give us an opportunity in a larger matter. Reject the cultural compromises that tempt us everyday. Live with courage as a soldier for Christ!
Note: And lest you think I am suggesting that we as individuals commit some violent act against someone like an abortion doctor, I am not. Phinehas, as the spiritual leader over the nation, had a Divine directive to carry out capital punishment in this case. In the New Covenant era, in which we live, the government is given the power of the sword in the civil realm (Rm 13). The Church is given the power of the sword (God’s Word) in the spiritual realm. The Church’s implements of battle are the words of Scripture and actions that are consonant with those Words (Eph 6.17 and Heb 4.12). And remember, we are told to love at all times.
Corporately, the church is to speak to the issues of the day. Condemn the evil. Commend the good. The Church is to exercise its authority by using the keys of the Kingdom (Mt 16.19). The Church must be cleansed from within first.
Individually, we are to use our gifts and abilities to witness within the opportunities that God places in our paths. How much better to introduce an enemy of the Kingdom to the Savior, and thereby making him a soldier in God’s Army, rather than killing the body and forever consigning the enemy into Satan’s captivity.