Why was Phineas declared a hero for killing another Israelite?


 Then an Israelite man brought into the camp a Midianite woman right before the eyes of Moses and the whole assembly of Israel while they were weeping at the entrance to the tent of meeting. When Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, saw this, he left the assembly, took a spear in his hand and followed the Israelite into the tent. He drove the spear into both of them, right through the Israelite man and into the woman’s stomach. Then the plague against the Israelites was stopped; but those who died in the plague numbered 24,000.  Numbers 25:7-9
            The Israelite men were engaging in sexual immorality with the Moabite women.  God declared a plague on the Israelites.  The people allowed the sin to happen and barely batted an eye when this guy walked into the camp with another Moabite woman while the people were dying for that sin.  Only Phineas, a priest, got up and speared the guy to put an end to their misery.  God saw this act as “zealous for my honor.” 
            Sometimes we have to stand up to our own people and put an end to the things that are bringing disgrace to God, even if the sin is popular with the people.  While killing isn’t the answer, zeal is and a desire to honor God’s name.