WHEN WE PLEASE GOD
Date: February 23
Category: God Answers
"Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned my wrath away from the Israelites, in that he was jealous with My jealousy among them, so that I did not consume the Israelites in My jealousy. Therefore say, Behold, I give to Phinehas the priest My covenant of peace. And he shall have it, and his descendants after him, the covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the Israelites."
If you read Numbers 25:1, it says, "Israel settled down and remained in Shittim, and the people began to play the harlot with the daughters of Moab." In other words, they started sleeping with the daughters of Moab. Not only that, but in verse 2, we see that they started sacrificing to other gods, to Moab's gods. So the children of Israel broke their allegiance to the Lord.
God became so angry with them that He sent a plague. In verse 9, we see that 24,000 people died. Even though they knew the Lord and they knew they weren't supposed to worship other gods, they still turned away from Him.
At one point, an Israelite man came before the sight of Moses with a Midianite woman. When that happened, Phinehas rose up and pierced both the Israelite man and the Midianite woman in their side and killed them. Notice what God says about Phinehas' actions in verse 11. God says that Phinehas was "jealous with My jealousy." Because of that, God gave to Phinehas His covenant of peace (verse 12b).
Then in verse 13a it says, "And he shall have it, and his descendants after him, the covenant of an everlasting priesthood…" So God promised him that he was going to be a priest forever. This promise of God came as a result of Phinehas doing something that pleased God. It came only after he put forth the effort to do what God wanted him to do. That's when the promise came.
Whatever God says to us is sure to happen. So when God makes you a promise, He will be faithful to keep it. There are many promises in the Bible. Some of them are yours for the taking. All you have to do is believe in them and receive them. But other promises will be yours only after you've done something. Those are conditional promises.
When you go to work for someone, your boss will tell you what to do. When you do what he says, then he will pay you. Your reward in that case is conditional. Some of God's promises are conditional. God says that He will supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19), but if you don't do your part in working, saving, and investing, then you will still be in lack.
In this case, Phinehas received this promise because of the jealousy he had with God's jealousy. Because of that jealousy, he did something that pleased God. In our case, we have to do what pleases God if we want to receive His promises. So we have a part to play in order to obtain some of the promises of God. When we play our part, God will fulfill His promises in our lives.