ESM Blog

Zealots

In Torah portion Phineas, Numbers 25:10,11 The Lord said to Moses, Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, has turned my anger away from the Israelites. Since he was as zealous for my honor among them as I am, I did not put an end to them in my zeal.

What prompts a zealot to do what he does?

By definition, a zealot is one whose entire motive is to honor G-d and to bring peace in the relationship between God and His people. A true zealot acts to bring peace and to still the wrath of G-d brought about by the unrighteous behavior of the rebellious. A zealot acts with complete unselfishness, he does not act out of his own personal aggression.

Phineas was a zealot. He acted against the outright vile behavior of Zimri, a leader in the tribe of Simeon and Cozbi, daughter of a Midianite king, as they blatantly went into a tent and without shame, began to have relations. This aroused the anger of G-d, and a plague broke out killing 24,000 Israelites. It was at this point that Phineas stepped in, grabbed a spear and plunged it through the two in the act.

Phineas acted as a true zealot. What he did caused the wrath of G-d to cease, and the plague stopped. In the following verses we see that he is rewarded by G-d.

Exodus 6:25 Phinehas son of Elazar son of Aaron the priest has turned My anger away from the children of Israel, by avenging My zeal among them, and I did not destroy the children of Israel due to My zeal. Therefore say: I hereby give him My covenant of peace. It shall be for him and for his descendants after him as an eternal covenant of priesthood, because he was zealous for his G‑d and atoned for the children of Israel.

Imagine, G-d gave him His covenant of peace in the priesthood, and this was eternal!

His zealousness actually atoned for the sin of the children of Israel.

True zealousness for G-d changes things. It brings healing and peace, because the ones causing the problem have been dealt with and have brought peace between

G-d and His people!

How are we showing zealousness for our G-d today?