And the LORD said to Moses,
Eleazar son of Aaron the priest to pull all the incense burners from the fire,
for they are holy. Also tell him to
scatter the burning coals. Take the incense burners of these men who have
sinned at the cost of their lives, and hammer the metal into a thin sheet to
overlay the altar. Since these burners
were used in the LORD’s presence, they have become holy. Let them serve as a warning to the people of
Israel.” Numbers 16:36-38 (NLT)
Korah’s rebellion was a blip on the radar screen of Israel’s march out of slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land. It was life-changing (er, life-ending) for those who followed Korah’s leadership to overthrow God’s chosen leader, Moses. In the long view the rebellious Korah and his followers didn’t pose a serious threat to God; they were swallowed up by a crack in the earth, and roasted by the fire which ensued.
God spoke quickly to Moses after the incident, to reclaim the implements of worship Korah’s group had held (incense pots), because God said they were holy. But the fire (coals) which had consumed the rebels was to be scattered in the dust.
While Korah and company did not constitute a threat to God’s plans, their actions and fate serve as a terrible reminder and warning to those who think rebellion is somehow noble.
God is never mocked; God’s plans are immutable.
But sometimes the “fire” takes different form!
Rebellion doesn’t always result in the kind of “fire from above” which we picture in our minds. Sometimes it appears as natural consequences or a weird coincidence.
I tried yesterday to do something I thought I’d sworn-off doing. I got involved in a Facebook tug-of-war with a militant homosexual. At first he just seemed somewhat confused and misguided about what the Bible said. But 79 exchanges of postings later I was worn-out and disheartened by the realization that he is simply stubborn and refuses to open his mind or heart to his own rebelliousness. He is dead-certain that his homosexuality is a gift from God; that Jesus, Paul and the entirety of Biblical teaching support the way he lives.
What he has done is take obscure passages out of context and assign outlandish implications to undergird his preconceived belief that homosexuality is within God’s approval. For instance, he takes the Genesis account of Abel, who was killed by his brother, Cain; he asserts that since the Bible doesn’t record that Abel married, he was born to be single, and therefore gay.
Worse than an “argument from silence” the man puts down an unknown (Abel’s marital status) as proof to his own idea, rather than accept what the Bible actually does say. When confronted with this spurious manner of Bible study the man goes off on a whole list of “why doesn’t the Bible say this…or that” to cloud the issue.
(I was tempted to say to him, “ignorance can be forgiven and even cured, but stupid is forever!” But I bit my lip and bade my keyboard be silent).
Sometimes the “fire” of God’s judgment for a rebellious spirit is simply to let the stubborn alone. God did say His spirit would not always strive with man, and that when a rebellious conscience becomes seared, insensitive to the Spirit because of arrogance (the pride of life), there is no hope
Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.
These people are hypocrites and liars, and
their consciences are dead. 1 Timothy 4:1 - 2 (NLT)
The issues surrounding LGBTQ equality and acceptance in culture are like a tidal wave. In an effort to become “normative” within society they hardly think about ANYTHING else, and it becomes all-consuming to those engulfed in it. Like the fire of Korah’s rebellion the struggle to gain God’s approval for their rebellious spirit consumes their ability to worship God on His terms. And that is the only worship acceptable to a Sovereign Lord of the universe!
For You, Today…
Don’t wrestle with the pig – you only wallow in mud; and the pig likes it!