Taking a Firm Standby Cynthia Jennings on April 27, 2022
The cartoon Phineas and Ferb which aired approximately between 2007-2015 was a cartoon my family watched often. To be honest, every now and then my husband and I will watch an episode or two. The plots were intriguing, and the characters had whimsy, depth, and layers of peculiar personality. Not to mention they had a pet platypus named Perry who was actually a secret agent.
Aside from the likable cartoon characters and intriguing plots, Phineas isn’t a name you hear much of in our day.
However, 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. “But Phinehas stood up and intervened, and the plague was checked” (Psalm 106:30 NIV).
Here’s a snippet of what was going on with God’s children….
“Then they despised the pleasant land; they did not believe his promise.25 They grumbled in their tents and did not obey the Lord.26 So he swore to them with uplifted hand that he would make them fall in the wilderness,27 make their descendants fall among the nations and scatter them throughout the lands”(Psalm 106:24-27)…. “they aroused the Lord’s anger by their wicked deeds, and a plague broke out among them.30 But Phinehas stood up and intervened, and the plague was checked.31 This was credited to him as righteousness for endless generations to come”(Psalm 106:29-31).
The children of Israel were in a bad place. Their wicked deeds and woeful ways as a nation had God mad and spewing plagues. Then a man, Phinehas, with some guts who cared about God’s glory stepped up. The full story of the mildly famous Phinehas, who stood up and spoke up is found in the book of Numbers 25.
A summary of Phinehas’ story is: When God’s people were stuck in the desert after they had been delivered from oppression in Egypt, they got grumbly, demanding and wickedly rebellious. While in Shittim (in the plains of Moab), the Israelites partook in the pagan worship of the Midianites and forsook the commandments of God.
And yes, God was very upset…. Big time mad!
The last straw was when an Israelite man blatantly defied God’s law in front of the entire assembly, Phinehas rose to action against this man in defense of the honor of God (Numbers 25:6-8).
Phinehas’ action turned God’s anger away from the Israelites. God was so happy that He blessed Phinehas with a covenant of peace that would go on to be passed down to his descendants for generations (Numbers 25:10-13).
In our world today, we need more Believers who will stand up and intervene in defense of the honor of God. When we see something happening around us that’s in conflict with Biblical trurth, we need to say something! (1 Corinthians 16:13) . Yes, one person can really make a difference.
So, whether your name is Phinehas or Phineas, Ferb or Fern, Perry or Carrie, or (insert your name), we’ve all been created in Christ to do good(Ephesians 2:10), to speak up and to take a stand in defense of God’s honor.
Before, you count yourself out saying, “I’m not sure if I would know what to say in defense of God?” Remember, if Jesus calls you to it, He will equip you for it(Hebrews 13:21; Exodus 4:10-11). You’ll never stand alone when you stand with/for Jesus.
Prayer: Father in the Name of Jesus, please forgive me for the times when, like the Israelites I strayed, grumbled, doubted your promises and frustrated You with my rebellion. Please equip me to speak the truth with both grit and grace. Embolden me and purify my heart to echo Your hope and love in ways that defend Your honor.
Thought for the day: What does taking a stand to defend God’s honor look like for you? Is there something the Lord is calling you to stand up or speak up for?
PEARLStoPONDER: Yield to the power of the Holy Spirit within us and watch God work in and through us for His honor.
Ephesians 6:10-17: 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.