How many of us are saved through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ but do not see all the benefits described in the Bible functioning in our lives? I was one of those!
Through the Holy Spirit, I came across a verse opened up a whole new understanding and appreciation for what Jesus did for me. Let me explain by starting with the narrative found in Numbers 25.
Israel has been lured into whoredom by the temple prostitutes of Moab. Some even joined themselves to baalpeor, a false god. Their actions released a plague that caused 24,000 to die.
The Lord instructed Moses to have the judges kill all those who had joined themselves to this pagan god. (No deliverance ministry in the old covenant days!). One of the Israelites grabbed his prostitute and in defiance, came before Moses to mock the command of God. Phineas, grandson of Aaron, grabbed a spear and killed both the man and his prostitute. His quick response stopped the plague from taking any more lives.
Scripture tells us that because of his zeal for God, was given 2 things: the promise of an everlasting priesthood in his family line and a covenant of peace with God. However, there is something very unique about the writing of this Hebrew word “shalom” used here. This shalom is the only place in whole Old Testament where one of the letters, the vav, is a broken vav.
To understand the significance of this, we need to understand how carefully Israel has guarded the accuracy of their Torah. Scribes have 4,000 rules they follow in making copies of the Torah. If one error is found, the scroll is buried in a special graveyard!
According to tradition, the vav as the 6th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, represents man. Man was created on the 6th day, etc. So, this broken vav is no mistake, but a message to us!
Phineas was unable to keep this covenant of peace and lost the promise of the everlasting priesthood. How? Phineas means “mouth of brass”. Brass is a mixture of metals. Phineas was a broken man (like all of us without Jesus!). He spoke in mixture of blessing and cursing. He was unable to uphold his part in this covenant with God. (A covenant requires at least 2 agreeing parties.)
In John 2, we are told of another man of zeal who drove out merchandisers and upset tables in the temple. His zeal was against that which was destroying God’s people – religious works seeking righteousness with God.
This man, however, was NOT broken. He was perfect. He, as our perfect vav, stood in our place and accepted His Father’s covenant of peace for us becoming our everlasting priesthood (intercessor). Once peace with God had been established, Jesus tells us in John 14:27 that He was leaving this gift of peace here for us to use on earth.
What does shalom (Hebrew) and eirene (Greek) mean?
Safe, well, happy, friendly (with God), welfare, health, prosperity, and peace. My favorite meaning though is: Set at one again. Because of this gift, we can see our love relation with our Heavenly Father restored!
Jesus continued His gift by dying on the cross so that we would never have to be guilty or condemned for our sin, if we would accept and believe His sacrifice! Wow!!! That is amazing! Don’t you agree? So why do so many Christians suffer from a lack of shalom in their lives?
The answer is found in Romans 4:13-15. Abraham, we’re told, was declared righteous not based upon what he did, but upon his belief in what God had told him. Verse 14 tells that if we are still trying to earn God’s favor by our “righteous acts” we have nullified our faith and made all the wonderful promises of God of no effect in our lives!!!
To inherit the promises of God, we must once again position ourselves simply as a receiver of His goodness and become absolutely convinced of His love and favor towards us, not based upon anything we do, but simply upon how we think!
There is so much more I could say about this, but to learn more on this gift of peace and the favor that belongs to the children of God, go to my website: http://www.heartreflectionsministries.com or pick up either of my books: The 12 Gemstones of Revelation or Weapons of Peace.