“Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, has turned my anger away from the Israelites. Since he was as zealous for my honor among them as I am, I did not put an end to them in my zeal. Numbers 25:11
The Israelites have journeyed through the wilderness for nearly 40 years. They are camped on the plains of Moab across the Jordan from Jericho. While camped there many Israelite men begin to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women. The Moabite women invite the Israeli men to the sacrifices to their gods, and the men participate and bow down before their gods. God’s anger burns against the people and He is ready to wipe them out via a plague. An Israelite man, a leader of the Simeonite family flaunts a Moabite woman right before Moses and the Israelite assembly, but Phinehas acts strongly and decisively, killing the man and woman and leads the cleansing by the judges of a thousand more that dishonored God through idol worship. Phinehas’ actions turned God’s anger and stopped the plague that killed another 23,000 Israelites. It is one thing to serve God, another to serve with zeal and passion. It is a measure of our heart toward God. Let your praise and your service be pleasing to Him!