Dream word – RETREAT
Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men; and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown. They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?” NKJV
The Borsalino back step
The Bible is the scariest book I have ever read. The aspects it presents us with regarding our Holy and loving God, are both punishingly perplexing and terribly troubling!
In Numbers chapter 16, to say that the Lord got a little annoyed at His people is so much an understatement that it verges on reefer madness! Let’s face it, let’s man up about this friends, for in the plain reading of the text, God lost it here! God’s wrath was so kindled by these conniving and ungrateful, power hungry and arrogant bunch of bananas that His righteous anger knew no bounds. Twice he says to Moses here, whilst rolling up his sleeves mind you,“Get out the way mate, cause once and for all I’m gonna whack the lot of ‘em!”Numbers 16 (my translation). The Hebrew Wa’akaleh, translated here as “that I may consume them” means very simply that, “He’s going to take away the garbage and throw the trash in the impacter and good riddance to the lot of it!” God is very, very angry here.
On the first occasion of God losing it in this chapter, (Yes I do hope that little phrase troubles you. It should.) it was the intervention of Moses that saved the congregation as a whole. Yet still God burns alive in Holy pan fire, frying consummation, the 250 incense swinging usurpers and then turns on Dathan and Abiram, their goods, their animals and their whole family, including the lickly, little ones, and swallows them alive into the mouth of a burning hell! It was only the intervention of Moses on this occasion that saved the congregation as a whole. God held back His wrath.
On the second occasion of God losing it in this chapter, (Yes I do hope that little phrase troubles you a little more now. It should.) it was the intervention of Moses again that saved the congregation as a whole. Yet still, God sent a quickly consuming plague, killing 14,700 of his people before Moses and Aaron could do their work of supplication and propitiation, standing between the dead and the living, until the wrathful plague was halted.
These two men saved Israel over those few days and maybe one other woman saved one other man and their whole family as well!
If you closely look at our text for tonight, you will see not only the names of Korah, Dathan and Abiram but also of On, the son of Peleth. Yet On and his family do not appear as names of the dead in any of the related Scriptural texts. It would appear that on the part of On, some wise and speedy repentance had come upon him and after his little foray into the land of Usurption he had speedily detached himself from his partners in crime. Rabbinical oral history, tells us that it was On’s wife who mightily advised him to get his act together, put his Borsalino on his head and back out of the business deal, post haste! It is not unreasonable to believe that she did and that On hearkened unto the wisdom of his “what the heck do you think you’re doing” wife. I’m pretty sure the conversation that went on in the tent of On would have made a Hollywood producer blush! Yes sir, these were deceitful times and desperate times for sure and we all know what animated language the heat of desperation produces in us. Blood and fire were at stake here and On’s wife was by no means cooking, no sir, she had no intention whatsoever of “frying tonight”.
Tonight, there are no doubt some not-so-wholesome deals that some of you have gotten yourselves into. Maybe even some of you have been fortunate to have some loving people close to you, expressing their deep concern for the transactional outcome but you’ve thus far ignored them. Well, if the ground is beginning to shake before your feet, if people are dropping like flies around you, if your good wife is still bleeding your ears and God is feeling like an enemy rather than a friend, then maybe it’s time to start listening, put your Borsalino on and back on out there right quickly now, doing the dance of the “Borsalino back step” as you go!
Listen: “And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, ‘I will disguise myself and go into battle; but you put on your robes.’ So the king of Israel disguised himself, and they went into battle. Now the king of Syria had commanded the captains of the chariots who were with him, saying, ‘Fight with no one small or great, but only with the king of Israel.’ So it was, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, ‘It is the king of Israel!’ Therefore they surrounded him to attack; but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the Lord helped him, and God diverted them from him.” NKJV
Pray: Lord, it is so scary to have our eyes opened to the terrible predicament we, our family or our friends, have gotten ourselves into. As we put on our Borsolino hat on our banana shaped heads and back out of the dreadful predicament we have put ourselves into, we long with Jehoshaphat and the wife on On, cry out to You for help. Aarggghghghghgh...HELP!!!!! Amen Lord and amen!
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