February 20, 2006

Read Numbers 16

In Today's Reading:

Korah leads a rebellion against Moses and Aaron; plague sent by God; Aaron's rod; duties of 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 (Numbers 16:2,19).

Once again, Moses was confronted with opposition, this time from his own cousins and key leaders of the 12 tribes. Two hundred fifty of the leading men of Israel were influenced by Korah, Dathan, and Abiram to rebel 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 unto them, Ye 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 ye 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 and that they were actually gathered together against the LORD (16:11).

Korah did not just make a mistake; he 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 (rebellion) of Cor'e (Korah) (Jude 1:5,11).

Korah was a believer in God from the priestly tribe of Levi. The Kohathites were responsible for bearing the sanctuary on their shoulders (Numbers 7:9) and later would be set over the service of song in the House of the LORD (I Chronicles 6:22,31) and over the Shewbread, to prepare it every Sabbath (9:31-32). However, it appears that Korah would serve the Lord only if it resulted in bringing recognition to himself. Self-willed people 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).

Word Studies:

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.

Christ Portrayed:

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).

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Mrs. Kenneth T. Bowman · The Arabic International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Mrs. Sue Moore · Staff: Karen Hawkins · Government Official: Sen. Mitch McConnell, Jr. (KY) · Country: Japan (126 million) off the eastern coast of Asia · Major language: Japanese · Religious freedom · 57% Buddhist; 27% Shintoist and other Eastern religions; 3% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Pray for national revival, for righteousness exalts a nation (Proverbs 14:34).

Optional Reading: Luke 6

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 12:19