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The Phinehas Feeling
THE  PRIMARY  MOTIVATION  FOR  TRULY  CHRISTIAN  BEHAVIOUR
But in our human experience, the prime motivator of behaviour in general is our feelings.
Often,
even when we know what we should do, we often do not do it until our feelings are in line with our mental perception of the situation before taking action. This is not wrong in itself, but it is simply not good enough.
 
One of the reasons for worship being so central to the Christian faith is that in real worship we are responding affirmatively to the qualities of God Most High as He has revealed Himself in Jesus. This internal response affects us if it is sufficiently focused, and the longer the deeper its affect. Our unconscious attitudes, which are the seat of our feelings, are thereby being directly affected.
Fasting
is good, as the Bible demonstrates in the lives of spiritual leaders, for our feelings from the beginnings of infancy are affected by situations around us and so we have imbibed much that is unbalanced and out-of-gear with God. Accordingly, fasting is an exercise in saying 'no' to ourselves in denying the authority of our feelings. Cain son of Adam was warned by God (Gen.4:7) concerning his feelings of first-born sibling-rivalry but he did not hear, which gave us the first murder in history. But life is more than learning this self-control.
As
God's 'image' in His world, we were designed from the beginning to mirror His attitude to situations, events, and persons around us. Hence the need to continually tune ourselves to Him in worship, to Him who is the source of all things good and true which validate human existence.
 
 
Our Bible illustrates these vital principles in a tragic situation during Israel's migration from Sinai through Midianite and Moabite territory toward Canaan/Palestine. Israel's morality was being collapsed by its flirtation with local religious practices. After their desert journey it was now party-time at the local shrines. The judgment of God in response was a deadly plague among the people throughout Israel's encampment.
 
So,
because of the generally compromised attitude of Israel's leadership, God says to Moses –
"Take all the chiefs of the people and hang them in the sun [publicly for shock effect] before the LORD,
that the fierce anger of the LORD may turn away from Israel"
Numbers 25:4 ESV
But
Moses did not do it, and the people continue to die.
Instead Moses applies this verdict/sentence/judgement of God only to those that were directly responsible for the people's compromise (for this seemed more just), and then he calls his nation to prayer for mercy at the Tabernacle of God.
Apparently, Moses thought this was the better way than God's way.
Twenty-four thousand people had died in the plague. But God did not hear!
The plague did not stop!

 
Then
Phinehas, son of their high priest, broke away from their prayer meeting when he saw another example of flagrant disobedience to God in the midst of Israel's encampment. So he took his spear, followed and immediately executed both the persons.
The plague stopped immediately!
 
Put
briefly, prayer, no matter how many people pray, is not a substitute for obedience to God.
 
 
But this was more than personal obedience. God said so!
 
 
"Phinehas ...has turned back My wrath from the people of Israel, in that
he was jealous with My jealousy among them,
so that I did not consume the people of Israel in My jealousy"
Numbers 25:11 ESV
 
Phinehas felt as God felt!
The Phinehas Feeling
Crying
to God in prayer for mercy has no place before God's judicial throne – unless it changes us to become like Him, to share His values, to feel as He feels on the issues of life, and particularly – on the welfare of His people.
The Promise – Numbers 25:12-13
This was fulfilled except for a brief interruption in Eli's days.
In
order to make this an enduring example, and it is written for our sake, God now restricts forever the future inheritance of the high priesthood in the nation Israel to the descendants of Phinehas alone, although Israel's disobedience sometimes violated this.
Phinehas remains our example today,
to mirror the uncompromising attitude of the Most High
with the strength and with the compassion of God's own character.

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