A covenant of peace
Pinchas Numbers/B’midbar 25:10-30:1
Haftorah Reading: I Kings 18:46-19:21
Messianic Scripture Matt. 26:1-20, John 2:13-22, Acts 2:1-21
Today I would like to cover what I feel are two very important topics. First I want to discuss my question on how we see the relationship between G-d the Father and Yeshua. My interest in this was sparked by reading an article posted on Facebook where the writer gave a long list of the foundations of his faith, covering many topics. In his article he only mentioned Yeshua, never bringing G-d into the picture of his faith. Yeshua was all and everything in his view. This was troubling to me and caused me to revisit the subject of how I see this question in my own life.
Within a few hours of sending out my question on this topic I received answers from several of you. Those answers were varied in their point of view and well presented. I realize this question does not have a conclusion easily proven with scripture. When looking at scripture we can find proof for several opinions. Some feel G-d and Yeshua are exactly one and the same. Others feel they have separate functions or relationships to us. In either of the above cases the divinity of Yeshua was never questioned. The difference in opinion was concerning a difference in purpose and role.
In my studies this week I again read verses that could be used to support either theory. I would like to share with you my view. In I Corinthians 10:3 we read, “But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Messiah, the head of the woman is man, and the head of Messiah is G-d.” I see Yeshua as, from the beginning, being set apart in heaven as a representative of the Father. G-d Himself did not come to earth and dwell among us. He sent His son, Yeshua. I see Yeshua as sinless and given every quality of G-d. He was given the power of the Father but He also said He could only do what the Father gave Him to do. He had the full power of G-d at His disposal.
As G-d’s messenger to man, He was given the full authority, honor and glory of the One sending Him, In Matthew 3:17 we read these words, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” Mark 9:7 expresses the same fact when G-d said, “This is My Son whom I love, listen to Him.” For me, verses like these help me in my understanding of this question. Thank each of you for your input and thoughts on this topic this week.
Now to my second question this week. Today our Torah portion begins with the ending of the story that was in last week’s portion. Last week ended with Pinchas killing the Israelite man Zimri and the Midianite woman who were engaged in a sexual act in front of Moses and the people of Israel. We see no indication that Pinchas asked permission from anyone before taking matters into his own hands. G-d used the word “kina” or zealous to describe the action of Pinchas.
It is interesting that this same Hebrew word can be also translated as jealous. This word is used in a few places in scripture. In fact, in our Torah portion G-d uses the same word in talking about Himself in Numbers 25:11-17. In John 2:13-15 we read where Yeshua’s disciples used this word when quoting a verse to describe the actions of Yeshua, (Psalms 69:9)
We also read in I Kings 19:10-14 where Elijah uses this same word to describe his own actions for the L-rd. However, Elijah’s end was much different from Pinchas. Pinchas was given a covenant of peace from G-d and also made a priest. Elijah was told by G-d to go and anoint Elisha as his replacement. Maybe one reason for these two different outcomes was the motivation of the person. Pinchas took action when no one else would do so and as a result stopped the plague that had already killed 24,000 people. Elijah was speaking about himself and how no one was left but him who loved G-d. G-d reminded him there were still 7,000 who had not bowed before Baal. I think Elijah might have reached spiritual burnout.
Zeal can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the motivation behind our actions. Pinchas’ motivation was blessed by G-d. He was concerned with stopping the plague running rampant among the people. Also, G-d blessed him with a covenant of peace after his act. This might seem very strange. Maybe it was a way of telling Pinchas and us that violence must never be our first choice of action.
Even today we see violence around us. Sometime we see believers resorting to violence. When we come to those places in our lives, as G-d’s people, that should never be the first choice we make. In fact, except in the most extreme circumstances it should never be considered at all. G-d expects us to stand on our faith in Him. He expects us to seek His answers to situations we face. Our country is known as a Christian land. Making our views known and supporting laws that protect those rights that reflect our faith can change our world and our land. Standing for who you are as a child of G-d should be our response when we have reached our limit.