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Zeal for the Lord - Life of Moses Part 61

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
July 20, 2021 6:00 pm

Zeal for the Lord - Life of Moses Part 61

So What? / Lon Solomon

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July 20, 2021 6:00 pm

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Well as you know we are involved in a study of that great man of God. Moses. But today we want to actually look at another wonderful man of God, a fellow named Phidias and we find his story in Numbers chapter 25.

But before we look at him.

Let me give you little bit of background into this chapter you will remember that here at the busy end of the book of numbers, the Israelites are coming to the end of their 40 year wandering in the Sinai wilderness. Let's show you a map and you'll see where they were wandering and so God commands them to head up the east side of the Jordan River to Mount Nebo. There was a famous highway that ran along the east side of the Jordan River called the Kings Highway running through the land of Edom.

However, the Edomites would not allow the Israelites to pass on this road and so the Israelites were forced to take a 180 mile detour away to the east, but here in Numbers 25 after that detour. They have finally arrived at Mount Nebo in the land of Moab and that's where we pick up the story so here we go. Numbers chapter 25 verse two while the Israelites were staying in Moab.

The men of Israel began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women who had invited them to the worship of their gods. So the Israelites joined in worshiping Baal to your now about helping your was the chief God in the Moabite Pantheon. He was the God of nature. He was the God of fertility and as such sexual relations were an integral part of the worship of this God. In fact, the priestesses of Baal people or these women knew it invited the Israelites to come worship with them were really nothing more than temple prostitutes whose primary active service to your was to have sacred sex with all of the worshipers there doing things so debauched that in the book of Hosea Hosea 9 verse 10 God refers to these actions as quote shameful and vile.

Verse three so the Lord's anger burned against these Israelite men and you can understand why. I mean, God delivered them from Egypt, he met their every need. For 40 years in the desert. He's brought them right here to the very edge of the promised land. About to give it to him and then they go. Like this first force of the Lord said to Moses, take the leaders of this group that had gone off and on this and kill them in broad daylight so that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel. So Moses said to the judges of Israel. Each of you must put to death those men from your tribe who have joined in the worship of Baal people are now many commentators have suggested that these judges wouldn't do it that they refused to carry out this death penalty against members of their own tribe and that this was the reason why God sent a plague on the nation of Israel. A plague is working to see in verse nine that ended up killing 24,000 people. I'm inclined to agree with these commentators that this is what explains this play versus six and while Moses and the whole assembly of Israel were weeping at the entrance to the tent of meeting, you got the picture here now this plague is sweeping the nation.

Immorality is out of control with some of the Israelite men and some of the God-fearing Israelites have gathered around Moses in their here outside the tabernacle and are on their knees praying in on their knees asking God for mercy.

You got the picture right as that's going on, and Israelite man brought a Moabite woman.

One of these temple prostitutes it to his tent right before the eyes of Moses and the whole assembly of Israel.

Hey remember now up to this point, the immorality, all this immorality had been going on outside the camp. Now this guy in an act of brazen contempt.

He has the nerve. He has the audacity even while Israelites are falling to their death. In this play. He has the nerve to walk one of these temple prostitutes right into the Israelite camp right by the tabernacle right by Moses and all these other godly Israelites on their knees praying and take her into his tent to continue his immorality with her. Well when Phidias, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the high priest here enters our man Phidias. The Bible tells us is the grandson of Aaron the original high priest he was with these people who were gathered on their knees praying okay when he saw what this Israelite man did folks Phidias blew a semiconductor and salmon on Zion right now.

Watch when Phidias saw what this man did he left the group to say what group the group on their knees praying right outside the tabernacle. He left the group recorded it and here's what he did.

He picked up a spear in his hand and he followed the man into his tent.

Then he drove the spear picture this now through both of them and into the ground first through the Israelite and then through the woman's body as well is a long way to how can you call this man a wonderful man of God I don't get it. The man just committed double homicide. You refer to him as a wonderful godly man friend you got to remember all Phidias did is obey exactly what God told the Israelites to do. He didn't commit murder he didn't commit homicide. He carried out the command of God, that every Israelite man doing this should be killed now rose then the plague against the Israelites was stopped, but those who had died in the plague number 24,000 Israelites then the Lord said to Moses, Phidias has turned my anger away from the Israelites, for he was zealous for my sake. Among them therefore tell him that I am making my covenant of peace with him. He and his descendents will have a lasting covenant of priesthood with me because he was zealous for my honor. Notice here that Phidias's actions produced a double blessing number wanted produced a blessing on on the nation of Israel because God halted the plague in response to his action and number two it produced a blessing on him and his descendents forever in the God promised that he would go show eternal favor to do to Phidias's family and that he would grant them the priesthood of Israel to his family forever. You know it's interesting that's what really happened when David made sad off the high priest of Israel. Zanuck was a descendent of Phidias and the quahog name the priest of Israel today are still able to trace their lineage back to saddle Hawk and back to Phidias. God kept his word to this man.

Now that's as far as we want to go in the passage today because we want to stop and ask our most important question you know what this is.

So were ready, yes. All right. Nice allowed. Here we go want to pray yeah you say Launcelot that you know God didn't want me picking up spears and running out and hurt and people were spear zombie. What difference does any of this make my life today, well, let's talk about that. What was it. My question is, what was it about this man Phidias that God loved so much. Well, God tells us twice, right here in the in these verses. He tells us in verse 11 and again in verse 13 God says he was zealous.

There's our word. He was zealous for my sake, for my honor that. What is it mean to be zealous. Well, to be zealous, literally means to be ardent to be fervent to be on fire for something and you know, folks, people can be zealous about. Well, almost anything on me. We can be zealous about advancing our career. We can be zealous about acquiring lots of money and lots of power and lots of notoriety we can be zealous about selling in sports or in music or in the arts. We can be zealous about getting married for single we can be zealous about having children. We can be zealous about getting into a good college or get into law school to get into medical school folks we can be zealous about our lawn and about our flowers and about our dogs and about our cats about our gerbil be zealous about a lot of things but you know none of these kinds of zealousness or what Phidias had and I'll tell you why. It's because all of these things we just named are examples of human zeal that is zeal that is driven by personal desire zeal that is driven by personal likes and dislikes zeal that is driven by the personal ambition to achieve something that is not what Phidias had Phidias had a zeal that was not me centered.

It was not self-centered.

He had a zeal that was God centered. He had a zeal that was based upon loving what God loves a zeal for righteousness zeal for holiness zeal for biblical obedience and he had a zeal against what God hated this immorality that was going on in the care and friends listen Phidias had a zeal that caused him to be willing to stand up and be counted publicly for Christ to take a stand of and to back it up with his actions.

Number number 25 tells us is that God loves followers of Christ like this.

God doesn't want us going out with a spear and harming anybody doesn't want us having that, zeal. He wants us to have a spiritual zeal that's conspicuous in our life that people around us can sense and feel and see and that we are willing to stand up in zeal for the things God loves and were willing to oppose the thing God hates and were willing to take a stand and be counted. That's what God loves and what I want to talk to you today is about four areas in life where God wants us today. The 21st century.

As followers of Christ to demonstrate zeal for God the way Phidias.

So here we go number one the kind of zeal that God wants us to demonstrate today. Number one is a zeal. First of all, for personal holiness. Folks, we have to understand it zeal for the Lord must always start with our own walk with God. That's why speaking to the lukewarm church at Laodicea. The very first thing God said to them was be zealous, listen, but he didn't say be zealous about this or about that are about doing this other thing.

The first thing he said to them is the zealous and repent personally. Get your own life in order. Look at the man of the woman in the mirror and get them where they need to be because folks this is where it all starts. You can have a zeal for the Lord coming out of a dirty life.

You can't do it. This is why the Lord Jesus said Matthew seven verse five first cast the beam out of your own if they belong, not as a follower of Christ. We all know, don't we did not of us, not of us. No matter how hard we try. None of us can be 18 can get this right. 100% of the time.

None of us can achieve 100% personal holiness in our life absolutely correct.

You are so right.

And you know when it comes to this issue of zeal for personal holiness. I've got some good news for you God doesn't expect you and me to get it right.

100% of the time he doesn't expect us to be perfect. Listen, but he does expect us to be zealous.

He does expect us to be serious about what is it mean to be zealous for personal holiness. Practically, let me tell you what it means three things number one to have a zeal for personal holiness means that we begin every single day totally committed to obeying God in every nook and cranny of our life we wake up in the morning and we say Lord Jesus, to the best of my ability.

I'm going to obey you and everything you tell me with everything I got in me today. Number two. It means that were broken hearted when we fall short when we go out and say something or do something to look at something that we got no business doing that our heart heart is broken that we let God down and finally it means that right then and there. We repent before God for our failure and we really commit ourselves to 100% obedience. In other words friends we know God will forgive us and we go to God and asked to be forgiven, but at the very same time we never lower the bar or shoot for anything less than 100% obedience to God. Just because we can always live up to the bar doesn't mean we lower the bar. This is what it means to have a zeal for personal holiness and folks, when a follower of Jesus Christ become zealous about personal holiness. That is when the power of God really begins to be turned loose in that person's life number two data zeal like Phineas today means that secondly we have a zeal for serving the Lord. I love with the apostle Paul said in Romans 1211 he said when it comes to serving the Lord.

Do not be lacking never be lacking.

Here's our word look in zeal folks.

Every great man or woman of God was ever live as different as they may have been in so many areas. There was one area where they were all in agreement and that is they were all passionate about serving Christ with their life.

David said Psalm 116 overlord Shirley, I am your servant Samuel said, first Samuel chapter 3 Lord speak for your servants is listening. The apostle Paul was talked about God and he said God, whom I serve with my whole heart. I give it everything I got married after Gabriel announced over the virgin birth, she bowed her head and said I am the Lord's servant, Peter refers to himself. Second Peter chapter 1 as a servant of God. So did James and Jude, and Daniel and Isaiah, Nehemiah, and Elijah, and I love what what Joshua said Joshua 24 verse 15 he said you guys can go serve anybody you want to serve you and serve other men you serve yourself. I don't care. But as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. You see friends. All of these men and women serving God became the defining issue for their entire life. Let me repeat that serving God became the defining issue for their life and as followers of Jesus Christ today. This is the way it ought to be with us folks just like all these great saints of old, we have to understand as well that once we come to Christ faith in Christ there is no reason why God should leave us on this earth other than to serve the Lord God doesn't leave us here to amass money or to amass power or to become famous and be a big shot. He leaves us here so we can use every talent we have every gift we have every ounce of energy we have, to serve the living risen Christ and you know the man led me to Christ. The fellow named Bob Eckhart, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 1971 when he led me to Christ.

He drilled this in the my brain from the day I came to Christ he said to the sun.

He said the only reason you're still here and not in heaven today is because God left you here to serve God, not do it with all your heart for 38 years. That's what I've tried to do is to serve Christ with everything I had inside of me, and friends. I'm here to call you to do the very same thing that Bob Eckhart called me to do. You say belong." The article appears on the women. Women is different with you long different with you.

You are a minister is different. I'm not a minister.

I mean, you know, this is your job. I mean, you do this. This is not me know. I'm sorry I don't buy that for one bit survey says an auto buy that one bit. No no no friends.

I didn't start off as a minister.

I wouldn't born little white collar hanging around my neck listen when I came to Christ I serve God for years as a volunteer. I went and taught Bible study at Montgomery county jail. Every Sunday I taught a Sunday school class for college-age kids.

I went down to rescue missions in Washington DC and shared my testimony. I handed out tracks on the streets of Alexandria and I did these things as a volunteer and you know I think I can honestly tell you if I wasn't in full time vocational ministry, I would still be out to serve God with everything in me because it's not about a vocation. It's about calling on our lives. Once we come to Christ. We are called to serve the living risen Christ who died for us. Paul says, and rose again and I have to tell your friends very disheartening for me as your leader to so often be up here and be asking for your help in areas where we need volunteers and after asking for that help not to give you listen to me if every single person in this church simply took one area of service to Christ and threw themselves into that one area of serving Christ with zeal and fervency and all of their hard. We would have more than enough manpower to blow this city up for Jesus Christ and so my call to you today.

Folks, is this. Come on now we need to get our focus off of serving ourselves we need to get our focus off of caring about ourselves, and we need to move our focus like Phineas did on the serving the living Christ. That's the kind of zeal God wants us to have were to walk in the footsteps of this man to begin a vendor that are number three. If we want to zeal like Phineas and we need to exhibit in our world today is zeal for opposing unrighteousness around us is what he did when he was face to face with overt sin. This man walking right in the camp with this prostitute. He couldn't take take any longer, he just didn't stay at the tabernacle and pray. I mean praying is wonderful. Don't get me wrong, but this man got up and did something about this man took a public stand against that unrighteousness and as followers of Christ in the 21st century. I believe God calls us to do the same. Ephesians 5 verse 11 says have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness watch but rather reprove them take a stand against them resists them push back against them that we need to do this at work where we need to take a stand in our offices against Cusson and dirty jokes and mood comments and unethical actions in sexual harassment. This stuff goes on in offices.

We need to be known as people who say what we don't agree with that and in school we need to take a stand against people picking on the underdog and against violence that's carried out on the weekend against cheating and against bully is on these things go on in schools and we need to take a stand and say on against that.

Don't you do that to him or her and in our society. We need to take a stand against racism and against the exploitation of the poor and against the marginalization of people with disabilities in his Christian citizens, we need to take a stand against abortion and against gay rights and against pornography that we can do this. Respectfully, my friends and we can do this courteously, but we need to do it fervently and with zeal and you say will on you don't get it on stand that if I do this at school I might lose some friends.

I mean, if I do this in my family on to make some relatives really mad at me if I do this at work. I might lose my job, friends, what a great reason to lose your job.

Besides, don't worry about that. God says herself. Samuel chapter 2, verse 30. Those who honor me, I will honor says the Lord, friends, listen, you stand up for righteousness to it courteously would respectfully but do it zealously. You stand up for righteousness and the righteous God of this universe will stand up for you.

You'll have to worry about that number four and finally when I have zeal like Phineas the number four. We need to have zeal for sharing Christ with loss, people listen.

Having a zeal for the Lord will always mean having the seal for lost people and let me tell you why. It's because having a zeal for the Lord means loving what God loves and God loves lost people God has zeal for reaching people outside of Christ.

He loves them with an everlasting love. I love in Luke chapter 15. When Jesus told the story of the Shepherd that had 99 sheep and one got lost in 101 got lost and here's what he said. Jesus says does not the Shepherd leave the 99 sheep and go looking for the one that is lost.

Watch until he finds it. That's the language of Sealed Air folks. That's the language of fervency. There many shepherds would say well I got 99 means what you know what's one my cup of coffee I could make it would 99, no, no, no, not God. God has zeal for the one that is lost and anybody who has zeal for the Lord will have zeal for those lost sheep as well. I'm always amazed the people who tell me what is zeal for God, they got but they don't seem to have any concern to step out and try to reach lost people friends there's a disconnect there. I'm sorry sums wrong and you know when you look at the great men and women of God in the Bible.

They had to zeal you know Peter and John. You remember that Max chapter 4 the Sanhedrin brought them in the Jewish Council said if you don't do this anymore to put you in jail. You need to stop talking about Christ, you need to stop sharing Christ and you remember what they said to him, they said, go jump off the bridge so speak go jump in the lake so to speak. They said were not doing it and they went right back out walk right out of the chamber went right back out sharing Christ again member the apostle Paul. He had to zeal. He said in Romans 115 is that I am so eager to preach the gospel to you in Rome. What drove this man threw her through the whole Roman world, it was a seal for so entirely church had to zeal, which is why they turn the whole Roman Empire upside down with the message of Jesus Christ. And if were going to make this conic impact on our world friends were going to reach the city for Christ and make a difference in this town we got to have the same zeal that the early church I wanted to share. One example of this zeal, as I hope that you will be a challenge to your life into my life. His name was George Whitfield, and I'm not sure there's ever been a man since the apostle Paul that that is zeal for souls like this guy DO just one example. I'll have time to give you more in 1737 Whitfield set sail from England on his way to the colony of Georgia.

He was on a ship called the Whitaker was part of three ships a little flotilla that was crossing the Atlantic for the British soldiers well Whitfield made out his made up his mind and set out that he was going to reach every single person on all three ships for Christ before they reached America and so every morning and every evening he began walking up on the deck of the other Whitaker and reading prayers on the deck all by himself.

Nobody contended he was all by itself. After a few days he started visiting the ill and the seasick.

He began feeding them. He began reading the Bible to them. He began praying for them.

He would wander the deck at all hours of the night witnessing to the crew witnessing to the soldiers.

Before long, a few people started showing up on deck in the morning to attend his Bible readings. Before long after that, the captain ordered the benches be set up on the deck in the morning so that the gathering crowd would have a place to sit Whitfield organize some of the soldiers attending into a male choir you did get this now is got a choir on board his boat going over. He traded them Bibles for their decks of cards and after seven weeks. Whitfield wrote this in his journal and I quote, he said, having begun with a scornful and cursing group. Now the soldiers stand like little children to say their catechisms most read their Bible daily and virtually all attend services morning and evening, seven days a week. Now it's not over before long the other two ships began pulling up alongside and tying up in the morning and we feel out of service for all three ships on board the Whitaker in the middle.

One soldier wrote it is wonderful. All three shifts clustered together decks ablaze with the redcoats of the soldiers while Mr. Whitfield preaches with a voice so strong that it can be heard clearly on all three decks. Leading services replete with him singing and acquire these people are in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean understand this floating in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean post by the time the voyage ended in Georgia.

Whitfield had led virtually every single person on all three ships to Christ and when he got ready to leave them British soldiers people admitted battle battle hardened men grabbed him and fell to his feet and grabbed onto his legs and wept like babies because of the impact that he had made on their life. In fact, many of the soldiers subsequently left the military and went into the ministry became pastors and evangelists themselves brother. This is what you call having a zeal for so this is what you call having a zeal for lost people and this is what having a zeal for the Lord looks like in our lives friends. God wants us to catch Whitfield's passion.

He wants us to catch which Whitfield zeal for souls and he wants us to have that same zeal in our lives today.

July what he wanted. Do you want to stand up on the Metro and the MorningStar read the Bible on the Metro. I don't know what to tell you to do yet sure if God leads you to do that.

Why not you might develop a little choir on the car every morning going to who knows what difference does it make were not here to serve ourselves, were not here to worry about our own reputations were not here to be concerned what people think about us. We are here to serve the living Christ.

We are here to exalt the living Christ. We are here to have a zeal for the living Christ. What difference does it make what people think about you. What makes a difference in what they think about him. Could you tell them about all right, let's conclude, as followers of Christ today what we learn what we learn that God wants us to be zealous for the Lord. Just the way Phineas was.

And we learned that the way we do it in our modern world is for ways number one with a zeal for personal holiness in our own life. Number two with the seal for serving the Lord and not serving ourselves.

Number three with a zeal for opposing unrighteousness. We do it respectfully and we do it courteously, but we do it fervently and number four with a zeal for sharing Christ with lost people who are outside of Christ friend you know what, as followers of Christ. Your McLean Bible church. I'm here today to call you and myself to a greater zeal for the Lord Jesus Christ in our lives. I'm here to call on you and me to stand up and be counted for Jesus Christ. Everywhere we go.

Listen Frank God will give us the courage if we will give God the seal for me repeat that God will give us the courage if we will give him the seal so I hope you walk out of here today saying Lord Jesus hears my prayer make me a Phineas for your glory Lord, make me like that guy and give me a zeal for Christ in my life that is conspicuous. Give me a zeal for Christ in my life that people can see and that they can they can experience and that they know is there.

Lord may be known is that guy that gal who was zealous for Christ.

Everywhere I went. What a great prayer and you know what, let me just tell you, God will honor and bless your life like he did Phineas if you just do this friends at Riza. Let's rise up, no, no, no, I don't mean stand no no no good for you. 12. Well bless you guys. I appreciate that. I gotta be careful let us rise up spiritually nonserious guys. Let's rise up spiritually and be the people God called us to be. You didn't call us to be bumps on a log and he didn't call us to live in the shadows. He called us to step out of the shadows and go take a stand for Christ in our lives. That's what Phineas did. That's what God wants us to do this, do it spray dear Lord Jesus, thank you so much for challenging our lives today with the example of this wonderful man Phineas and father we pray that you would motivate us to rise up in our schools in our office places in our families in our neighborhoods where ever we go to rise up and have a seal for God in our life Lord I pray we would have it in a way that is respectful and courteous and kind of Lord that it would be fervent in the people would sense it know it when they meet us and that it would be a witness for Christ and for what is done in our life Lord Jesus use us in this town and give us the courage we need and Lord will seek to give you the seal by your grace in our life change our lives because we were here today.

God make us different people because we sat under the teaching of the Word of God. We pray these things in Jesus name. Why, God's people say amen

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