Read Numbers 16 -- 18
In Today's Reading:
Korah leads a rebellion against Moses and Aaron; plague sent by God; Aaron's rod; duties for priests; the tithe offering
Korah, Dathan, and Abiram rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown. . . . And Korah gathered all the congregation against them (Moses and Aaron) (Numbers 16:2,19).
Once again, Moses was confronted with opposition, this time from his own cousins and the key leaders of the 12 tribes. Two hundred fifty of the leading men of Israel were influenced by Korah, Dathan, and Abiram and they rebelled against Moses and Aaron. They accused Moses and Aaron of assuming too much authority, and their argument seemed very convincing: They gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said to them, You take (assume) too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift you up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD? (16:3). They refused to recognize that Moses and Aaron were appointed by God to lead the people. The fact is they were actually gathered together against the LORD (16:11).
Korah did not just make a mistake but he committed a serious sin, as recorded by Jude: 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 to 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 (rebellion) of Core (Korah) (Jude 1:5,11).
Korah was a believer in God from the chosen tribe of Levi. The Kohathites were responsible for bearing the sanctuary and, later, would be among those set over the service of song in the House of the LORD (I Chronicles 6:22-31) and over the Showbread, to prepare it every Sabbath (9:32). However, it appears that Korah would serve the Lord only if it resulted in bringing recognition to himself. Self-willed Christians need to recognize that God has said: Obey them that have rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls (Hebrews 13:17). But God has also delegated His authority to parents and employers as well as to the government. The Holy Spirit led Paul to write: 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. Whosoever therefore resists the power, resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation (Romans 13:1-2).
16:31 clave asunder = split open; 17:10 testimony = Ark of the Covenant; shalt . . . take away their murmurings = put an end to their complaints; 18:15 Every thing that openeth the matrix = Every firstborn; 18:30 heaved = offered.
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 (Isaiah 53:5); He gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity (lawlessness) (Titus 2:14).
Government Official: Sen. Mitch McConnell, Jr. (KY) · for the International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by William H. Lupton · Country: Papua New Guinea (5 million) in the southwestern Pacific · Major languages: 715 indigenous languages · Religious freedom · 64% Protestant; 33% Roman Catholic; 2% ancestor worship, belief in spirits, and witchcraft · Prayer Suggestion: Recognize the Lord's mercy and loving-kindness and praise Him (Psalm 100:4-5).
Optional Reading: Luke 7
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:10