Living Torah Commentary
July 11, 2020
Leaders in the Camp
The actions of Pinchas are recorded in last week's Torah portion, but the Heavenly response is recorded in this week's. Going back a few verses, we see Pinchas took actions into his own hands when sin entered the camp. Consider how blatant the actions of Zimri were. He did not try to sneak this woman into his family's camp, but rather brought her unashamed right by the Tent of Meeting. To him it may have seemed rather gutsy as he may have figured the old man (Moshe) would not do anything about it. Pretty stupid as he failed to realize Moshe raised leaders up who were just as zealous for Yah as he was. For the actions of Pinchas we see him awarded the Covenant of Peace, a precursor of what all of Israel will walk in at the time of complete restoration. Ez 37:26
To comprehend this Covenant of Peace, let us first consider how many people would define peace. The Hebrew word is shalom. In comparing the two words, peace is often thought of as a passive word, but in reality shalom is an active word. For greater detail we must look at the Hebrew letters and their meanings.
Shin - Teeth, Consume
Lamed - Shepherds staff, King
Vav - Tent peg, Hook
Mem - Water, Chaos
From these letters we get a more complete definition of shalom; “May that which is producing chaos be destroyed by the consuming teeth of authority.” Notice the vav or tent peg and its place between the staff of authority and the chaos. What did Pinchas use to bring an end to the chaos in the camp? I wonder if what is translated as a spear could have been a tent peg from the Tabernacle.
We can go back to the Garden for a deeper understanding for the possible reason behind the actions of Pinchas. Adam was told to guard his garden. The Hebrew word is shamar which is:
Shin - Teeth, Consume
Mem - Water, Chaos
Resh - Head
In being told to shamar the garden, Adam's instructions are to be the head or authority which keeps chaos out of his house (with violence if necessary).
What did Adam do in the garden? He stepped out of his position as head of the garden, quit guarding and allowed chaos to enter. For order to be restored it would require One with Kingly authority and a Shepherd's heart to enter the situation. This would be the same One Pinchas would draw his strength from to restore order to the camp, or could we say garden of Israel, in the wilderness. Maybe Pinchas got the message from Adam's failure. Have we?
I may make some folks angry over what I am about to say, but maybe that is what it will take to bring about change. I have for many years been on the front lines in trying to challenge men to step up and be men. Men, it is your role to guard your life, your wife, your family, your house and the congregation you are attending. You do not need to ask permission to do this. Time to “man up” and lead from a heart of love, not dominance! And by the way, if your wife had to ask you to read that last statement because you didn't, guess what? You are not guarding your garden. How about one step further? Widows and orphans. Is Yah looking for righteous men who He can trust to bring them into a garden of protection? If He is, would you be on His list?
The Torah portion will continue with another man being placed into leadership, Joshua. Do you think he was passive? Read the book named after him. He knew how to bring shalom into a camp even if it may cost him his own life.
Did I sound a bit intense in this commentary? I hope so. The account of Pinchas brings it out in me. I am tired of hearing of wolves entering congregations only to hear that men are doing nothing about it. Men, if you see a wolf attacking your life, your wife, your family, your house or your congregation, pull up your big boy training pants and get in relationship with the One who can put an end to the chaos of wolves. Take action and do something about it!
Why a weekly reading schedule?
On a weekly basis we hear the term unity in our churches and congregations. It is a subject spoken of, but is it truly lived out?
Going back to the time before Yeshua walked this earth, the Hebrews established a weekly Torah portion reading. Today this schedule goes from Genesis to Deuteronomy in one year. No matter where you travel in the world the same scriptures are being read and taught from. We understand the spiritual power of unity, which is why we join our faith with synagogues, congregations and churches that are choosing to follow this schedule. Our weekly readings include a reading from the prophets as well as the Renewed Covenant, (New Testament). Each week as you read, imagine that the same scriptures are being declared in most every country and time zone around the world.