“A Man of Action” by Ariel Ehrmantrout
This Weeks Portion is “Pinchus” : Black Skinned
Haftarah is 1 Kings 18: 46-19:21
Priesthood Instructions: Hebrews 10-13
“A Man of Action”
Numbers 25:10-13 says “The LORD said to Moses, 11 “Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, has turned my anger away from the Israelites; for he was as zealous as I am for my honor among them, so that in my zeal I did not put an end to them. 12 Therefore tell him I am making my covenant of peace with him. 13 He and his descendants will have a covenant of a lasting priesthood, because he was zealous for the honor of his God and made atonement for the Israelites.”
This weeks Torah portion is called Pinchus and is found in Numbers chapter 25:10-Numbers 30:1. This week’s portion chronicles the actions of a righteous man, someone who had fear and awe for the name of the Most High God. In this portion we see the children of Israel in yet another perilous position. Balak, the Destroyer, from last weeks portion tried very hard to have Balaam the prophet come and curse the children of Israel, but to no avail, as every time he attempted to bring the curse, God made him bring the blessing.
So Balak realized that he could not bring a full frontal assault against the Children of Israel. He found out that to try to openly curse them would only bring them blessing. So he retreated to the next logical alternative. If he could not cause them to be cursed through his own actions, then he would attempt to get them to curse themselves by the lust of their flesh.
God had specifically forbidden the Children of Israel from cohabitating with the Moabites. The reason that God forbid this act was that He knew that if the Israelites began to cohabitate with the Moabites, then they would end up calling on the false gods of the Moabites, and thus they would invoke a curse upon themselves for worshipping idols. Last week’s portion ended with a very brazen act of sin being committed by a man of the Israelite community. He actually had the audacity– to bring a Moabite women before the Mishkan-The Holy Tent of Meeting–which was the portable temple of the Living God, and before the Man of God: Moshe, and the Priest of the Most high God: Aaron– and then he waltzed off into his tent and began to engage in a sexual affair with the woman, who interestingly enough was the daughter of a tribal chief among the Midianites. Now every time we hear this–you may be like me and be tempted to say “wow–I would never do that!!” However, before we go traipsing onward any further–we have to admit we actually do this all the time….by failing to share our Jewish faith with others–by looking more like the world that like a Hebrew–by walking–talking–looking like and most importantly–in our living in compromise…just understand that every place we compromise our walk–we are parading that sinful action in front of God’s Temple and Moses, Aharon and the Host of heavily Saints that died rather than compromise their faith. It is the same thing. That man died in his sin–and those who act thusly will die in their sin as well–now back to the portion……
So Balak the destroyer had been successful in getting to the Israelites, not through a blatant full frontal assault; but through the lust that burned in the flesh of the Men of Israel. In the conclusion of last weeks portion we see that Pinchus, which is a Hebrew word that means “Dark Skinned“, follows the man and this Moabite woman into their tent and then waits while they begin to enter the act of sin and he drives a spear through the man–into the woman and through them both, piercing them to the ground, resulting in their death–for the wages of sin IS death; or better said the paycheck for your sin IS death.
This incredible act of violence is rewarded by God and the plague that had broken out against Israel that was killing all the Israelite people was averted– and peace was restored within the Camp of God. Today we are going to examine this event, and two others just like it and see what the Spirit is saying to the Church in these last days. Please turn in your Bibles to Numbers Chapter 25 beginning in verse 10:
“The Lord said to Moses, Pinchus, son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the Priest, has turned away my anger from the Israelites; for he was as zealous as I am for the honor among them, so that in my zeal I did not put an end to them. Therefore tell him that I am making a covenant of peace with him. He and his descendants will have a covenant of a lasting priesthood, because he was zealous for the honor of his God and made atonement for the Israelites.”
I want to talk to you today about the current state of affairs within the Body of Messiah as a whole–a type of State of the Union address. I want to share from my heart with you a burning that rages in the innermost past of my bones. Our God is a Holy God, and He is to be exalted above all else in the Universe. Yet for far too many years of my life– I lived in slavery to the carnal lusts of my flesh, all the while calling upon the name of the Lord, just like many of you–but only going through the motions of a relationship with the King of Israel.
In this portion God lays out for us a standard that is to be followed–it is not open for discussion or consideration…If you are a Jew–reborn by the Ruach HaKodesh–then there is no place for compromise. The Torah is God’s SOP–or “standard operating procedural” manual for living a successful life while here on earth. Our Master Yeshua said, “If you love me you will keep my commandments” in Matthew 7:1, He was talking about what you call today the “Old Testament.” Yet this testament points us powerfully to the Messiah and Yeshua Himself stipulates what the meaning– of loving HIM IS –He said IF you LOVE ME—KEEP my commandments. In my marriage to Rabbanitzen, the covenant sign of my love for her is my service to her as husband and my commitment to abstinence, keeping the purity of our marriage bed from being defiled.
The covenant sign of loving God with all your heart and all your soul and all your strength is that you WILL DO His Commandments; this is the sign that you are in covenant with Him. “Professions” and “Confessions” of your faith are fine, and they are a necessary first step, but the proof of the pudding as my beloved Mother of blessed memory used to say, “Is in the pudding;” or in other words–the way you walk out your life. Yet the deceiver–Your Evil Inclination-is always present looking for an opportunity to deceive you. Your enemy wants you to be deceived, because there is NOTHING that it fears more than a Jewish believer who has the testimony of Yeshua in his mouth, and the sharp two edged sword of the Torah in his hand! Your base nature cannot lie to that person; it cannot deceive that person, it cannot trap that person in the actions of a dead religion, and he cannot get them to fall on their own sword like we see the children of Israel doing in this portion through the lust of their own flesh; because even as Yeshua did when He was tempted by an evil inclination sent from the devil, a person who walks at this level of faith moves from situation to situation speaking the Torah–or “Word” of the Living God: which does not return to God void, and creates powerful change in each and every situation that God sends them to.
In this portion we see a chronicle of a Righteous black man. Pinchus means “Black Skinned”–and I firmly believe that the reason so many young black men turn to the Muslim faith–and are lost to Deception of that pagan religion–because they are never told of the rich and rewarding history of African peoples throughout the Torah and the Testimony of Yeshua. With more believers who know the Hebraic roots of the scripture; this not knowing– results in people saying this is the white mans bible–when in all actuality, it is a clear and convincing sign that God accepts and clearly uses people of every race, and gender. “Pinchus,” was God’s Priest forever and was the Grandson of Aaron, who was the High Priest of God and brother to Moses. Have you ever stopped to wonder, if Pinchus is a black man, and he is the grandchild of Aaron and Moses is his Great Uncle, then what color were Moses and Aaron? They had to be Black! This will probably get me in trouble, but I have never cared about that– when the truth of Gods word is in the balance. And Beloved, just because I teach the truth about the color of melanin in the skin of these people does not mean that Spanish People or Asian People or White People have ANY LESS dynamic a history–I am only singling this out because it is so under taught.
There has been a demonic assignment against the black race for many years; have you ever wondered why God has allowed this to happen? Why have they been so persecuted? At PSU® when I was in College working on my Bachelor’s Degree we used to have great and lengthy discussions on this topic. Often people would say–“The only race that has been more persecuted than black people is the Jews.” Well beloved, if Pinchus means “Black Skinned”–then what they most likely are experiencing is NOT racial persecution for being black skinned, but it is spiritual warfare–hiding under the wings of anti-Semitism; in other words, it is possible that they are being attacked for their Hebraic heritage, not their skin color by the forces of evil!
Yet far too often people gloss right over this portion of scripture, because they do not take the time to learn the native tongue it was written in. This robs so many people of the true meaning of Gods Word–His Torah– and the deceiver is there to twist and deceive–and keep Gods servants powerless and confused and separated–instead of unified and powerful and focussed. The result of this is a segregated body of believers, and ultimately, competition and enmity between all Jews—to include Blacks, God forbid!
Pinchus was zealous for “The Honor” of His God. He had grown up in the Home of Eleazar the Son of Aaron. He grew up around the anointing of the Ruach. He learned from his father, and his grandfather before him– to burn with zeal for the things of God. When he saw this incredible sin of the Israelites with the Moabite Women taking place–bringing defilement–he did something about it! He was a man of action! God is a God of action. In this portion we have read that Gods ZEAL was about to consume all the Israelites in response for their sin. What does this word zeal mean, and what does it have to do with our lives today?
In Numbers 25:11 the Hebrew word here used to describe what Pinchus was feeling is the word “QANA:” which means “to provoke to jealous anger.” In other words, the sin of the Israelite man and the Moabite woman made the righteous Pinchus burn with jealous anger–or righteous indignation. It was a fire that was unleashed in the very marrow of Pinchus bones; he could not stand to see the sins of one person effecting the entire community. Further, the blatant disrespect for the Mishkan–Tent of Meeting or the portable House of God, drove Pinchus to action. He couldn’t stand to see this sin–because he had grown up around the holiness of God. He yearned for the instructions for Holiness found in the Word of God to be kept above ALL else. His actions–though violent–stopped the plague that was destroying the Israelites. The Torah indicates that when he speared the couple involved in sexual sin–he actually pierced them through their private parts–pinning them to the ground and God rewards him with a permanent covenant of peace. Imagine what our lives would be like if we would be willing to walk in this kind of commitment to the Ways of Torah. What would our communities be like if Men would dare to risk it all for God’s Holy Name??
In 1 Kings Chapter 18 we see another story of Zeal, similar to this one, where Elijah has called out the false prophets of Baal to a showdown to see whose God was the all consuming fire. Look at 1 Kings 18 beginning in verse 36:
“At the time of the sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed, “Oh Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command, answer me oh Lord, answer me and so these people will know that you, Oh Lord are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again. Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this they fell prostrate and cried, The Lord, He is God, The Lord, He is God! Then Elijah commanded them, seize all the prophets of Baal. Don’t let anyone get away! They seized them and Elijah brought them down to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered them there.”
Again we see a clear example of the people entering into sin with the false god of Baal, and the prophets of Baal being challenged to a dual, where God proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that He is the ONLY God. Then the man of God brutally kills the idolaters there–as a sign of to the people–of what they can expect if they leave the ways of Israel to mix it up with the pagan religions. Today we have so much sin running rampant in the Body. We make every conceivable excuse for sinning and not following after the commandments of God. We create false doctrines that say we don’t have to obey Gods rules–even in the face of Scripture that says we do; we stand by while people we know–our brothers and sisters in Messiah, willingly walk into sinful situation after situation. We have become a people that is asleep in the light. We turn on our worship music and we are lulled into a sense of passivity–through the Prozac of the Greco-Roman paganism that we EXPOSE OURSELVES too. We raise our Sons to be good Daughters–and program our Daughters to be spiritual heads of the household, all the while allowing our boys to call out to God on a less responsive level than we require of our daughters!
Israel–where is the fire that burned in Pinchus the Priest? Where is the passion that drove Elijah? Why do we passively sit by while evil deceives our family and do nothing about it? The Bible clearly states that Yeshua –IN YOU–is the hope of glory. That greater is he who is–IN YOU–than he who is in this world, yet we sell out and compromise at every turn, betraying the Messiah who loved us enough to die a violent brutal death in our place, while we do Him the lip service of braying him with a kiss–and a promise to do better each and every week. I mean–just like Judas, we proclaim our love for Him– but we don’t BURN WITH PASSION FOR HIM–and we do not obey his commandments. Yeshua put the qualifier on us in Matthew 7:1, where He said “IF” you love me–you WILL obey my commandments; not if you love me–you with try to keep my commandments. No. He said “take MY YOKE UPON YOU–for MY BURDEN IS EASY–and MY YOKE IS LIGHT. He–our King–the Son of David EXPECTS US TO OBEY.
Where are the David’s-who will go out and circumcise philistines and slay the giants who are dishonoring the name of our God. Men, we need to brace ourselves as men and take back the reigns of Gods Assembly from our Godly Women and be in order as Torah demands. They have been faithful, but we have ended up with an Assembly that has lost its masculinity–and that remains hidden under the apron strings of our Women. All we hear today are stories about Yeshua’s healing and his compassion; has anyone preached on Yeshua REQUIRING THE LIFE OF ANANIAS and SAPHIRA?? Yes Yeshua is our Healer, and He is loving and the very center of compassion, and it is His kindness leads us to repentance, but he came the first time as the gentle Lamb of God–the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53– that HAD to be slain. He is coming BACK as the LION of the tribe of Judah–KING OF ALL ISRAEL. Lambs blood–is spilled for the remission of Sin–Lions spill blood and occupy the land!
Gods Assembly needs to be a place where we do violence in the name of Yeshua in the realm of our flesh. Don’t do this through your flesh, because your flesh is as filthy rags to the Lord–for there is none righteous–no NOT ONE. We must take down the principalities and powers and ruler in heavenly places that have exalted themselves up against the Most High God! We have Assemblies run largely by our women–that have candles and paintings and nice ambiance, but many lack the burning–all consuming fire–of the Ruach HaKodesh that breaks off the yokes and fetters from peoples lives; remember–this was A WAR CAMP–NOT A “SPA!!!” Far too many leaders are afraid to decry sin from their pulpits–instead they are settling for higher offerings and greater attendance– so they can look good while bragging about their numbers at conferences. But the power of God comes when people being led by the Spirit of God humble themselves and step out in faith and DO GODS WORD! Gods miracles come– when YOU are willing to get out of your flesh; when YOU stop judging things by what you see–and start flowing under the power of the anointing of the Most High–acting as ONE UNITED PEOPLE CALLED “ISRAEL.”
We will see miracles again when people start doing the commandments of the Most high God– instead of playing religious games on the weekend and living like the devil the rest of the week; when people love God MORE THAN their Television sets– and they long for His HONOR ABOVE ALL ELSE. The less they seek their own creature comforts, and personal reputations. When Men arise and brace themselves like men of Israel–Like Joshua and Caleb! This was the different spirit that they had–and YOU can have it too if your are willing to stop selling out for temporary pleasures that buy you no eternal good. When we stop loving the world and avoiding GOD we will again see the miraculous!
Yet there is another example of this fire burning in the bones of another Prophet–the greatest of all prophets; lets turn to John Chapter 2 and begin in verse 13:
“When it was almost time for Jewish Passover, Yeshua went up to Jerusalem, in the Temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of chords, and drove all from the Temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables, To those who sold doves he said get out of here! How dare you turn my Fathers house into a market! His Disciples remembered that it is written, Zeal for your house will consume me!”
Yeshua saw the Temple being defiled, and He slowly and deliberately–fashioned a whip…one strand at a time and BEAT the people and animals from the Temple Courts! The word used for “zeal” in verse 17 is a Greek work “Zelos” which means, “excitement of mind, ardour, fervor of spirit, or the fierceness of indignation, punitive zeal.” Here we get a glimpse of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah in action; but where is this spirit in our assemblies and lives today? Do we all passively sit by while those around us go to hell and think for two seconds that this same God who had Pinchus pin down the couple, or had Elijah slaughter the false prophets or had Yeshua whip the money changers–will “understand” that we were all “hurt” and that is why we wouldn’t fully do His commands?
No beloved, God is a King, and Kings demand obedience, which is why the scripture says to OBEY is BETTER than sacrifice! God does need your money–he wants your life! All of it, not just the Shabbat go to meeting part. He wants you when you are alone in a room with your girlfriend, and nobody else is there and your flesh is burning. He wants you men–when you are putting down your wife, and berating your kids. He wants you wives–when you will not submit to the spiritual headship of your husband, and He wants the children–when they feel like nobody knows what you are going through so you do whatever you want.
People say they want holiness in the Assembly, but what they really want is Prozac filled “moments.” They want false peace, because true peace comes at the death of our flesh–and the life of Yeshua in us by the Holy Spirit. This may seem harsh to you, but in Revelation 3 and verse 19 the scripture says,
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent!”
Yeshua is NOT weak– and He has never lost a fight yet! Nor will He ever! Greater is He who is in you than He who is in the World–if you are obedient to His commands. Love God with ALL your heart, not just today, and all your soul, not just when your want something, and all your might, not just when you want others to think well of you, and love your neighbor as yourself, which is the commandment with a promise! If you will just do these two things–you will fulfill ALL the commandments in the Torah and you will walk in a level of victory you never thought was attainable before. Having Zeal for God according to the Scripture is like burning passionately, for the honor of His name. When you go out this week who will the world see? Will they see the all powerful God in you the hope of Glory, or just another closet believer? Daniel 11:32(b) says “But the People Who Know Their God will Display strength and take action!”
Choose life this day, that you may live, and remember the only thing that separates the sheep and goats according to scripture is what they did and did not DO.
©2010 Ariel Ehrmantrout – All Rights Reserved Worldwide
This Weeks Haftarah: I Kings 18:46 – 19:21
Today’s Haftarah Message: “Movin On Up”
Today’s reading I Kings 19: 15-18 “15 The LORD said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. 18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him.”
In this week’s Torah portion, one of the themes we see is that of succession. First we see GOD making a pact of friendship with Pinhas and a pact of an eternal Priesthood with Pinhas and his descendants. We also see the case of the inheritance rights for the daughters of Zelophehad, where GOD ruled that they did have inheritance rights to the land. Thirdly, we see the succession of the leadership of the Nation of Israel being passed from Moses to Joshua. Finally, we see the succession of offerings made at the appointed times of GOD and Israel. These are all examples of GOD moving forward and passing the Nation of Israel – its’ customs, laws, mission, and ways – to the next generation.
In this week’s Haftarah, we also see a similar succession taking place. Elijah is instructed by GOD to anoint Hazael King over Aram, anoint Jehu King over Israel, and anoint Elisha to succeed Elijah as prophet. GOD was moving forward and passing the torch on to the next generation of HIS leaders, to take over where the previous generation ended to accomplish HIS will on the earth.
Today, GOD is doing the same thing. Does anyone really think President Obama was put in office by the devil? NO – HE WAS PUT IN OFFICE BY GOD. I know that rifles the feathers of most Christian Leaders and my Neo-Conservative friends out there, but it must be true. If GOD is sovereign and in control, then HE must be in control of everything going on here on earth – including elections.
GOD is moving all of us forward. HE does not dwell upon or blame the past. HE is marching all of us forward to bring about HIS plans of repairing the world – Tikkun Olam. HIS plans include Israel – the co rulers with GOD. If you are part of Israel, then you are a co ruler with GOD to repair the world.
The question that we need to ask ourselves is – What are you doing to repair the world?
Are you taking care of the environment that GOD gave us?
Are you kind to people?
Are you helping the unfortunate?
All of these, any many others are actions to repair the world, to make it better and pass it along to the next generation. Ask yourself each day – What can I do to repair the world?
Then watch the results.
Rabbi Shaun Sailor
[5th Year Torah Student and Student Rabbi Shaun S. Sailor appears the courtesy of Temple Ahavah Torah Training Center. If you enjoy Reb Sailor’s Haftarah commentary each week, take a moment and jot him and encouraging note at email@example.com ]
Thank You!! Rabbi Ariel Ehrmantrout