An error occurred, and the scripture passage could not be retrieved.
Please try again later, or contact the website administrator.
In this story, Korah, a Levite, along with three friends, recruits 250 respected leaders who challenge Moses’ and Aaron’s right to lead. They accuse Moses and company of thinking they are “better than anyone else,” declaring that they are all part of God’s holy people. Moses views Korah’s rebellion as against God, (not Aaron); the result of an ungrateful spirit that doesn’t recognize the honor God has bestowed upon Levites who serve God in the tabernacle (vv 4-11). Moses suggests that they let God decide who His priest really is. Dathan and Abiram refuse to come and talk to Moses, accusing him of deceitfully moving the people from great farmland in Egypt and giving them absolutely nothing in Canaan. They accuse Moses of simply wanting to boss the Israelites around. You can almost feel Moses’ pain and indignation when he asks God to ignore these charges, since he has never wronged the people or “taken as much as a donkey” from them. It is difficult to withstand irrational and unfair criticism, isn’t it?
The next day the showdown takes place and God warns Moses to get the people away from the conspirators’ tents. God’s choice regarding his leader is made quite clear – the ground opens up and swallows the conspirators and their families and the 250 leaders offering incense to the Lord are consumed by fire from the Lord. Their offering utensils are hammered into a layer of bronze for the altar as a reminder that God had decided only Aaron’s descendants would be authorized to offer incense to the Lord. How adept we are taking a spiritual truth (in this instance, “the priesthood of all believers” doctrine that teaches that we are all God’s holy people) and then misapplying that truth to justify each individual telling God how he will serve him!
It is interesting how quickly the terror of the people (at God’s judgment) changes into complaining! They accuse Moses and Aaron of killing “the Lord’s people”. God appears and kills 14,700 Israelites before Moses can offer incense to appease God’s wrath. I wonder in what ways I dictate to God and the community of faith how I will serve him? Yes, God is with each individual, but he still gets to choose how he uses us!
Father, you are Lord, I am your slave. Please help me to serve you in humility and thanksgiving, content to carry out the roles you have determined for me! May I glorify you in my service. I pray in Jesus name, Amen.