Last week I turned a paper in on the story of Phinehas in Numbers 25. You should read it. It’s a great story about Phinehas, the high priest heir, who responds to an abomination in the congregation with the jealousy of the Lord. While studying for the paper, I ran through some good quotes about pastoral ministry from Matthew Henry’s commentary.
“So much does God delight in showing mercy, that he is well pleased with those that are instrumental in turning away his wrath; this is the best service we can do to our people; and we may contribute something towards it by our prayers, and by our endeavors in our places to bring the wickedness of the wicked to an end.”
“Note, it is requisite that ministers should be not only for God, but zealous for God. It is required of them that they do more than others for the support and advancement of the interests of God’s kingdom among men.”
In the story of Phinehas, he is serious about sin. While I don’t think pastors have the right to go and kill off the parishioners, I think, as Henry points out, that we have an obligation to be serious about sin. Too often, sin is overlooked in the church. We all know it’s happening, but no one is willing to do anything about it. To shepherd the flock is to protect the sheep no matter what. Sometimes this means breaking their legs and holding them. Ultimately, it means that I, as a minister, must be serious about my sin. Sadly, I don’t think I am as serious as the Lord has called me to be.