Tuesday, May 30, 2017
One day Korah son of Izhar, a descendant of Kohath son of Levi, conspired with Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth, from the tribe of Reuben. They incited a rebellion against Moses, along with 250 other leaders of the community, all prominent members of the assembly. They united against Moses and Aaron and said, “You have gone too far! The whole community of Israel has been set apart by the Lord, and he is with all of us. What right do you have to act as though you are greater than the rest of the Lord’s people?” When Moses heard what they were saying, he fell face down on the ground. Then he said to Korah and his followers, “Tomorrow morning the Lord will show us who belongs to him and who is holy. The Lord will allow only those whom he selects to enter his own presence. Korah, you and all your followers must prepare your incense burners. Light fires in them tomorrow, and burn incense before the Lord. Then we will see whom the Lord chooses as his holy one. You Levites are the ones who have gone too far!” Then Moses spoke again to Korah: “Now listen, you Levites! Does it seem insignificant to you that the God of Israel has chosen you from among all the community of Israel to be near him so you can serve in the Lord’s Tabernacle and stand before the people to minister to them? Korah, he has already given this special ministry to you and your fellow Levites. Are you now demanding the priesthood as well? The Lord is the one you and your followers are really revolting against! For who is Aaron that you are complaining about him?” Numbers 16:1-11(NLT)
Korah and his followers rebelled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. They saw the leadership of God’s people as a prize to be seized so they could be in the front seat. They were very wrong!
Moses responded with humility, praying to God to settle the issue clearly the next day. As we will see in the next few days, that did not go well for Korah and the 250 other leaders, as well as several thousand of their followers.
A prideful, rebellious spirit is not unfamiliar to the children of Adam; we all have the seed of rebellion. Even to deny that is a matter of rebelliousness. In the Garden of Eden when both Adam and Eve had sinned, God showed up in the cool of the evening, and the first thing the couple did was hide. God pressed the issue and called them out. Do you recall the conversation? God initiated the accounting; he asked:
“Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”
The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.”
Then the Lord God asked the woman, “What have you done?”
“The serpent deceived me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.” Genesis 3:11b-13(NLT)
Neither of the only two humans on earth wanted to admit they had rebelled against God’s command to stay away from that tree. Adam weakly claimed innocence by blaming God for giving him THAT WOMAN; Eve deflected the guilt from herself by pointing to how badly the serpent had treated her.
Neither was willing to own their rebellious spirit.
And that is an incredibly poor choice when your life is directly accountable to the One who made you, and Who just happens to be the Creator and sustainer of everything in the universe, as well as sovereign God over everything He created. It’s a pretty foolish choice to think you can hide yourself, or even the smallest detail of who you are in a lie.
The first step towards heading-off being on the wrong side of a riot with God is to get honest before God. So…how’s that conversation going?
I Title image: By U.S. Department of Defense Current Photos (140403-M-PK171-789) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons