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Bible Pathways - Feb. 20, 2008

  • 2008 Feb 20


February 20

Numbers 16

Highlights In Today's Reading:

Today's reading is far more than incidental Hebrew history. It brings to light how envy, jealousy, and discontent destroy the usefulness of "good" people. You should recognize the subtle treachery of Satan using "good" leaders with "good intents" to destroy their usefulness for God. Always remember, God will confirm His will to anyone who desires to follow it.

Korah and his company were Levites. Korah also was a cousin to Moses and Aaron who were Israel's spiritual leaders. Dathan and Abiram, of the tribe of Reuben, together with 250 leaders (princes) of Israel, planned to overthrow the leadership of Moses and Aaron, saying: Ye take too much upon you . . . wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord? (16:3). These influential leaders may have felt they were right in what they said, yet they failed to see Moses as the God-appointed leader. They merely considered leadership a personal problem to be decided on the basis of circumstances. Moses did not react in anger, but fell on his face before the Lord. Since the place of leadership is from the Lord, Moses would not use his authority or do anything of himself. His response to Korah and his company was to wait until the next morning when God would reveal His will. The meekness of Moses is evident in how he answered their wrong spirit with a right spirit.

Korah and his party were deceived by assuming they were not rebellious against God, for they still wished to serve Him but on their own terms. It was not possible then for Korah and his crowd to maintain a right attitude toward God and a wrong attitude toward God's anointed leadership nor is it possible now. Had they submitted themselves to the authority of Moses and Aaron, they would have been in subjection to God. Rebellion against God-ordained leadership still occurs in similar situations today among neighbors, in divisions in the church, and in the workplace.

Pastors who are confronted with criticism and opposition from members should follow the example of Moses by praying and fasting for the will of God. And all who oppose church leadership should also pray and fast for the will of God and either accept it or gracefully leave.

Mark them which cause divisions . . . and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 16:17-18). Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry (I Samuel 15:23).

Thought for Today:

God will use any Christian that is willing to fully submit to His authority. Start now where you are.

Christ Portrayed:

By Aaron and his sons who were responsible for making proper atonement for all of the sins of Israel (Numbers 18:1). Jesus gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity (lawlessness) (Titus 2:14).

Word Studies:

16:6 censers =incense burners; 16:7 holy =set apart, dedicated to God; 16:29 visited =natural deaths; 16:31 clave asunder =split apart; 16:46 plague =fatal sickness; 16:48 stayed =stopped; 17:10 testimony =ark of the Covenant; take away =put an end to; 18:1 bear the iniquity of =answerable for the sins against; 18:3 thy charge =your responsibilities; 18:5 wrath =further judgment; 18:9 oblation =offering; 18:11 statute =perpetual allowance; clean =cleansed from sin; 18:15 everything that openeth the matrix =very firstborn; matrix =womb; 18:17 firstling =firstborn; 18:19 covenant of salt =permanent contract; 18:21 an inheritance =their share; 18:27 corn =grain; 18:30 heaved =lifted up; 18:31 reward =wages.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The Arabic, English, and Spanish International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. William H. Somers • Staff: Barbara Jean Loyd • Government Official: Sen. Mitch McConnell, Jr. (KY) • Country: Croatia (5 million) in southeastern Europe • Major language: Serbo-Croatian • Religious freedom • 73% Roman Catholic; 15% Serbian Orthodox; 5% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Seek the Lord's forgiveness with a repentant heart, knowing that God will graciously receive you (Hosea 14:1-2).

Optional Reading: Luke 7

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:2

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