Numbers 16 -- 18
Korah and two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown . . . gathered all the congregation (Numbers 16:2,19) in a conspiracy to overthrow Moses as their leader.
Once again, Moses was confronted with opposition, this time from his own cousins and the key leaders of the 12 tribes. Two hundred and fifty of the leading men of Israel, influenced by Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, rebelled against Moses and Aaron. They accused Moses and Aaron of assuming too much authority, and their argument seemed very convincing: You take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them: why then do you lift yourselves up above the congregation of the Lord? (16:3). They refused to recognize that Moses and Aaron were appointed by God to lead the people and that they were actually against the Lord (16:11).
Following this confrontation, God directed that they all separate themselves from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. Moses proclaimed to all the people: By this you shall know that the Lord has sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of my own mind. . . . If the Lord make a new thing (to happen), and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up . . . then you shall understand that these men have provoked the Lord . . . As soon as he had made an end of speaking . . . the ground split apart under the offenders (16:28-31). These men, along with their families, were buried alive.
At the same time, fire broke out and consumed the 250 princes who believed that they were only opposing Moses when actually they were rebelling against God. This remarkable miracle was overwhelming evidence of the God-appointed leadership of Moses. Surprising as it may seem, instead of repenting, the rest of the congregation blamed Moses for the deaths, saying: You have killed the people of the Lord (16:41). This resulted in a plague where fourteen thousand and seven hundred (died), beside them that died about the matter of Korah (16:49). The plague would have destroyed everyone had not Moses and Aaron, in compassion, made an atonement for them.
Korah did not just make a mistake, but committed a serious sin, as recorded by Jude, who wrote: I will therefore put you in remembrance . . . how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. . . . Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core (Korah) (Jude 1:5,11).
Korah (Core) was a believer in God from the chosen tribe of Levi. He was assigned to lead the people in worship and teach the will of God. However, it appears that Korah would serve the Lord only if it resulted in bringing recognition to himself.
Some self-willed and self-pleasing people refuse to submit to a life of holiness. It is comforting to know: There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Romans 8:1).
By Aaron and his sons who were responsible for making proper atonement for all of the iniquity of Israel (Numbers 18:1). Jesus was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities (Is. 53:5); He gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity (Ti. 2:14).
16:31 clave asunder means split open; 17:10 testimony means Ark of the Covenant; shall take away their murmurings means will put an end to their complaints; 18:15 every thing that openeth the matrix means every firstborn; 18:30 heaved means offered.
Government Official: Sen. Mitch McConnell, Jr. (KY) · BPM Staff: Barbara Jean Jackson · Pray for Christian and Missionary Alliance missionaries in 54 countries · Country: United States (273 million) in North America · Major languages: English and Spanish · Religious freedom · 51% Protestant; 22% Roman Catholic; 17% other religions; 4% cults; 3% Jewish; 2% Eastern Orthodox; 1% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Revere and worship the Lord with godly fear and you will have no want (Psalms 34:9).
Memory Verse for the Week: