Read Numbers 16 -- 18
In Today's Reading:
Envy, jealousy, and discontent can destroy otherwise good people. God miraculously confirmed His will while judging those who turned against Him. Tithing was an acknowledgment that the Israelites and all their possessions belonged to God. Do you recognize the application for us?
Verses for Today:
Two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown . . . gathered themselves together against Moses (Numbers 16:1-3).
Korah leads a rebellion against Moses and Aaron; ravages of the plague sent by God; Aaron's rod; duties and provision for priests and Levites; the necessity and importance of the tithe offering.
The leaders of the rebellion included a group of Levites headed by Korah. It appears they were offended when Aaron and his family were chosen for the privilege of priesthood over them (Numbers 16:10). Another group, led by Abiram and Dathan, believed that Moses should let them lead the people because they were members of the tribe of Reuben, the first born son of Jacob (16:1). The rebellion was against religious and political authority. These three men believed they were just as holy and qualified as Moses and Aaron to assume the priesthood (16:10). They were dissatisfied with Moses making the decisions for the nation (16:14-15) and had gained the support of all the congregation (16:19).
Korah and his followers may have appeared just as qualified for leadership, but God had chosen Moses, who possessed the humility that was needed to remain faithful in the position of leadership. Therefore, they were opposing God -- not Moses.
The proud and the self-willed have a tendency to find fault, criticize, and magnify the natural weaknesses or inabilities of leaders, pastors, or presidents. Those with spiritual insight, however, recognize that God is the One who places leaders in positions of authority regardless of their apparent shortcomings. Therefore let every soul be subject to the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God (Romans 13:1). What may appear to be shortcomings in Christians may be characteristics that God has given them so that they will be daily conscious of their need to depend upon the Lord to guide them.
Rather than criticize those who are in authority over us, God admonishes us to pray daily for them.
The Apostle Paul suffered much pain and imprisonment. His only crime was teaching people to repent of their sins and receive Christ as their Savior. Still the Holy Spirit guided him to write that first (most important) of all, supplications (earnest requests), prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior (1 Timothy 2:1-3).
A Thought from Psalms: Your Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against You (119:11).
Through the first ripe fruits (Numbers 18:13; compare Leviticus 23:9-14). But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the Firstfruits of those that slept (in death) (1 Corinthians 15:20).
16:6 censers = incense burners; 16:31 clave asunder = split open; 16:48 stayed = stopped; 17:10 testimony = Ark of the Covenant; shall take away their murmurings will put an end to their complaints; 18:15 every thing that openeth the matrix = every firstborn; 18:17 savor = satisfying aroma; 18:30 heaved = offered.
Government Official: Sen. Mitch McConnell, Jr. (KY) · Pray for your Church · Country: Swaziland (985,000) in southern Africa · Major languages: English and siSwati · Religious freedom · 67% Protestant; 19% animism, spirit-possession cults, and divination; 11% Roman Catholic; 3% Baha'i · Prayer Suggestion: Confess your sins and ask the Lord to restore the joy of your salvation (Psalms 51:1-3).
Optional Reading: Luke 7
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:10