And Phinehas the son of Eleazar had been the officer over them in time past; the Lord was with him. (1 Chronicles 9:20)
The Lord Was With Him
Five words. One of the great epitaphs of holy writ is found in the five words describing the grandson of Aaron and son of Eleazar. Phinehas is an unsung hero who was a man filled with moral righteousness and impeccable integrity and a devoted follower of the Lord God. He took the courageous action of killing Zimri, the son of Salu, a leader of a father’s house among the Simeonites who brought a Midianite woman named Cozbi before the people when Israel committed whoredom with the women of Moab. Phinehas took a javelin and thrust both Zimri and Cozbi through the body, which also stopped the plague sent by the Lord, which killed 24,000 people. Later, he would succeed his father Eleazar as High Priest of Israel.
One of the jobs of Phinehas was officer over the Levite gatekeepers. It is in the genealogy of the gatekeepers the Holy Spirit says that the Lord was with Phinehas. Of all the accolades of honor bestowed upon a man, nothing is of greater value than to know his life is characterized by the overshadowing hand of the Lord. Little is known about the life of Phinehas, but all that can be known is found in the knowledge that whatever he did, God was with him. His life was an example of devotion to the will of the Lord. After he killed Zimri and Cozbi, he was blessed with the promise of the Lord to be a covenant of peace throughout his generation. Phinehas was zealous for the Lord. He was the one who took action against the blatant sin of Zimri. His action was swift, decisive, and immediate. It did not take him a committee to decide if what Zimri was doing was right or wrong. Phinehas took immediate action and thereby saved thousands of lives from the plague.
The Lord is looking for souls as courageous as Phinehas. Zimri was a leader among the people, but this did not deter Phinehas. What Zimri did was an insult to the character of God’s righteousness, and there was only one action to be taken. The Lord was inflicting His own special possession with a plague that killed 24,000 people, and many more would have died had it not been for the zealousness of Phinehas. Sin was repudiated that day by the hand of Phinehas. There comes a time when the work of the Lord demands action. Sin cannot be tolerated and accepted. When Paul wrote the church at Corinth, he reprimanded them for allowing a man with his father’s wife to be accepted in the fellowship of the body of Christ. What the church at Corinth needed was someone like Phinehas to stand for Christ. John told the church at Pergamos that someone needed to stand for truth against the doctrine of Balaam and the Nicolaitans. The church at Thyatira needed a Phinehas to stand against a Jezebel among them.
Courage is faith under fire that stands for truth regardless of the circumstance. Righteousness is that which is right and must be defended courageously. The action of Phinehas comes from a man who has the spirit of the Lord dwelling within him. It is then the Lord will be with this heart and deliver him out of any difficulty. Men like Noah, Job, Abraham, David, Daniel, and his three friends and the hosts of prophets are examples of those who stood for truth in the face of difficulty, and the Lord was with them. The Lord will stand with those who stand for Him. There are no greater words to have said about a life than the Lord is with them. Live for God, and He will be with you. If He is for us, who can be against us?