April 25, 2022
Time to Take a Stand
But Phinehas stood up and intervened, and the plague was checked (Psalm 106:30 NIV).
Friend to Friend
Phineas and Ferb was one of my absolute favorite cartoons when my kids were little. Seriously. The plots were intriguing, and the characters had whimsy, depth and layer-after-layer of peculiar personality. To top it off, they had a pet platypus named Perry who was actually a secret agent. Is that not epic?
This show was creatively crafted for children and parents. The writers of Phineas and Ferb didn’t forget that adults were watching too. They remembered us, and cleverly wove subtle humor into episodes that entertained both the littles and the larger humans who were in charge of the remote. Well played, writing team. Well played!
Aside from this likable cartoon character, Phinehas isn’t a name you hear much in our day. Psalm 106 briefly mentions a man named Phinehas who found himself in the midst of messy, mundane mayhem. The stand he took on God’s behalf powerfully displayed the truth that one person really can make a huge difference.
Here’s a brief overview of what was going on with God’s children …
"Then they despised the pleasant land; they did not believe his promise. They grumbled in their tents and did not obey the Lord. So he swore to them with uplifted hand that he would make them fall in the wilderness, make their descendants fall among the nations and scatter them throughout the lands… they aroused the Lord’s anger by their wicked deeds, and a plague broke out among them. But Phinehas stood up and intervened, and the plague was checked. This was credited to him as righteousness for endless generations to come" (Psalm 106:24-27, 29-31).
The Israelites were clearly in a bad place as a people here. Their wicked deeds and woeful ways as a nation had God fired up and spewing plagues. Then a man with guts who cared about God’s glory stepped up. The full account of our mildly famous friend Phinehas who stood up and spoke up is found in the Old Testament book of Numbers.
Y’all, his is a dicey, bloody, shockingly complicated and uncomfortable story. You can read the full story of Phinehas in Numbers 25, but I can summarize it with this: when God’s people were stuck in the desert after they’d been delivered from oppression in Egypt, they got grumbly, demanding and reprehensibly rebellious.
And God got mad. Big-time mad.
When an Israelite man blatantly defied God’s law in front of the whole assembly, Phinehas rose to action against this man in zealous defense of the honor of God.
And God got happy. Super happy.
So happy that he blessed Phinehas with a covenant of peace that would go on to be passed down to his descendants for generations. Amazing, right?
In today’s world-gone-wild, we need more believers who will stand up and intervene in zealous defense of the honor of God. When we see something happening around us that’s in conflict with Biblical truth, we need to say something. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10 CSB).
So, whether your name is Phinehas or Phineas, Ferb or Fern, Perry or Carrie, Krystal, Kiona or Carol, we’ve all been created in Christ to do good, to speak up and to take a stand in defense of God’s honor.
And before you count yourself out, remember that if Jesus calls you to it, He will equip you for it. You never stand alone when you stand with Jesus. Let’s rise today, yield to the power of the Spirit of God at work within us and watch Him work in and through us for His honor.
Holy Lord, I’m sorry for the times when, like the Israelites, I stray, grumble, doubt Your promises and frustrate You with my rebellion. Please help me to be a woman who speaks truth with both grit and grace. Embolden and purify my heart, Jesus, to echo Your hope and love in ways that defend and are zealous for Your honor. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What does taking a stand to defend God’s honor look like for you today? Is there something the Lord is calling you to stand up or speak up for?
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