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 her 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 discipline the wrongdoer and set up boundaries to protect everyone. Together we will all enjoy peace in the family.
Is it really possible to hate sin as much as God does? Phinehas did. As a result, God made a “peace agreement with him.” God hates sin. If I want peace with Him I must hate sin as He does. That’s challenging because sin feels good. Occasionally, I like to pull someone’s hair. Tolerating a certain minimum level of sin falls short of the standard and intensity of Phinehas, placing me in league with every other human...
“...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of
God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 3.23; 6.23
I thank God for Jesus Christ who saves me from “the wages of sin.” May God grant me the spirit of Phinehas and the courage to drive a spear through the heart of my own fallen desires.