Who do you pay attention to…? listen to…?

Reflections from Jeremiah, Mark, Romans and 1 Corinthians:

[Jer 7:21-34 NLT] 21 This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Take your burnt offerings and your other sacrifices and eat them yourselves!

22 When I led your ancestors out of Egypt, it was not burnt offerings and sacrifices I wanted from them.

23 This is what I told them: ‘Obey me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people. Do everything as I say, and all will be well!’

24 “But my people would not listen to me. They kept doing whatever they wanted, following the stubborn desires of their evil hearts. They went backward instead of forward.

25 From the day your ancestors left Egypt until now, I have continued to send my servants, the prophets–day in and day out.

26 But my people have not listened to me or even tried to hear. They have been stubborn and sinful–even worse than their ancestors.

27 “Tell them all this, but do not expect them to listen. Shout out your warnings, but do not expect them to respond

. 28 Say to them, ‘This is the nation whose people will not obey the LORD their God and who refuse to be taught. Truth has vanished from among them; it is no longer heard on their lips.

29 Shave your head in mourning, and weep alone on the mountains. For the LORD has rejected and forsaken this generation that has provoked his fury.’

30 “The people of Judah have sinned before my very eyes,” says the LORD. “They have set up their abominable idols right in the Temple that bears my name, defiling it.

31 They have built pagan shrines at Topheth, the garbage dump in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and there they burn their sons and daughters in the fire. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing!

32 So beware, for the time is coming,” says the LORD, “when that garbage dump will no longer be called Topheth or the valley of Ben-Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter. They will bury the bodies in Topheth until there is no more room for them.

33 The bodies of my people will be food for the vultures and wild animals, and no one will be left to scare them away.

34 I will put an end to the happy singing and laughter in the streets of Jerusalem. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will no longer be heard in the towns of Judah. The land will lie in complete desolation.

In Jeremiah we hear from God concerning his people.  I believe as God does not change, we can learn from this passage what pleases him and what doesn’t even for us today, for we are his people.  In one part he says: from verse 23 –

“Pay attention to what I say.  Then I will be your God, and you will be my people.  In everything live according to the way that I order you, so that things will go well with you.”  from CJB version.

He goes on to say they won’t /didn’t listen or pay attention.  My question from this is, “who are we listening to; what are we paying attention to?”  This calls for serious reflection and searching of the heart.  What is our source? News? Social Media? Friends? Co-workers? Instructors? or God?  Who do we spend the most time with?

This is a time of extreme need to know scripture; what God says…to pray; fight in the spiritual realm against the darkness that is taking over the land…How do we spend our time? energy?  That will show the truth to us of who we listen to.

God goes on to suggest we mourn for our lack of attention and what it has brought.  The actions of his people at that time brought disrespect, destruction, ruination.  In chapter 9 he speaks to the boaster; if you must boast let it be that you know and understand God…Can we boast in that?  The changes in our present society; even in the church say no…

Reading in Mark:

[Mar 12:28-34 NLT] 28 One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” 29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. 30 And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” 32 The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other. 33 And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.” 34 Realizing how much the man understood, Jesus said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Yeshua brings us back to where we need to be; it is a restatement of what God has said in Jeremiah; we are to be centered on God with all our being.  Acknowledge who he is and what he requires.

“Sh’ma Yisra’el, Adonai Elohiemu, Adonai echad ( hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one), and you are to love Adonai your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your understanding, and with all your strength.’ …’You are to love your neighbor as yourself.” from CJB

In Romans:

[Rom 12:1-2 NLT] 1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Paul clarifies or adds that we are the sacrifice God desires.  Our bodies, a living sacrifice (that includes physical self, spiritual self, our mind, will and emotions).  We are to give all to him.  Do you see a thread of instruction here? What does the Lord require of you, oh man? All of you.

In Corinthians 1:

[1Co 10:14-23 NLT] 14 So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols. 15 You are reasonable people. Decide for yourselves if what I am saying is true. 16 When we bless the cup at the Lord’s Table, aren’t we sharing in the blood of Christ? And when we break the bread, aren’t we sharing in the body of Christ? 17 And though we are many, we all eat from one loaf of bread, showing that we are one body. 18 Think about the people of Israel. Weren’t they united by eating the sacrifices at the altar? 19 What am I trying to say? Am I saying that food offered to idols has some significance, or that idols are real gods? 20 No, not at all. I am saying that these sacrifices are offered to demons, not to God. And I don’t want you to participate with demons. 21 You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at the Lord’s Table and at the table of demons, too. 22 What? Do we dare to rouse the Lord’s jealousy? Do you think we are stronger than he is? 23 You say, “I am allowed to do anything”–but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”–but not everything is beneficial.

Paul reminds us that we are participating with Christ, in Christ.  With the participation comes responsibilities…  Again the questions:

Who are we listening to? Who are we paying attention to? How do we know? How does it manifest in our lives? Are we God’s people? Can the unbeliever tell? Can we tell?  What does God see?

 

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be like newborn babies…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

From 1 Peter:

1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice, of all deceit, hypocrisy and envy, and of all the ways there are of speaking against people; 2and be like newborn babies, thirsty for the pure milk of the Word; so that by it, you may grow up into deliverance. 3For you have tasted that Adonai is good.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/1pe.2>

9Taste, and see that Adonai is good.

How blessed are those who take refuge in him!

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/psa.34>

In the fellowship groupings of Christ there should be no malice, deceit, hypocrisy, or envy.  There should be none of the ways men use to speak against people.  It is more effective to speak, if it is necessary, about what is good; that would be teaching  practice in the opposing values of malice, deceit, hypocrisy and envy.  Social media give an accurate picture of the heart of society with an abundance of what should not be. There is ample evidence of backbiting, malice, deceit, hypocrisy and envy.

This darkness can be fought by the same means that assist the believer in the process of growing in the spirit.  Peter says be thirsty for the pure milk of the Word for by it the believer will grow up into deliverance from these destructive ways.  Initial reuniting with the God of creation from the sin bound life brings a taste of Him that is good.  He intends that the believer get more than just a taste.

Malice is the “desire to cause pain for the satisfaction of doing harm.”  It comes in many forms: cattiness, hatefulness, meanness, spite, abusiveness, cruelty.  The opposite of malice then, which one would expect to see demonstrated in fellowships of Christ are: devotion, love, amiability, civility, cordiality, friendliness, hospitality.  The extent to which malice shows up in the social mainstream demands its opposing values  be in full force in the fellowship of believers.

Deceit is the inclination or practice of misleading others through lies or trickery.  It too comes in many ways, more subversive because of their nature. It comes or shows up as cunning, foxiness, dishonesty, furtiveness.  The opposites for which the fellowship of believers should be known are: candor, directness, frankness, openness.  These may make the believer seem childish or naïve in a culture full of deceit that is practiced without judgment.

Hypocrisy is the pretending of having virtues, principles or beliefs that one in fact does not have.  It can show up as insincerity, piousness, dishonesty, self-righteousness.  This is a term often used too loosely with the intent to attack.   Its opposites are truthfulness, artlessness, naturalness, genuineness and sincerity.  When truth is presented in a world that is used to judgmental statements, it often attracts the attack that calls the bearer of truth,  one who practices hypocrisy.  This term was used by Jesus to call out the need for correction among those who claimed to know God but followed the teachings of men.

Peter calls the believer to be like newborn babes who taste the mother’s milk and want more.  The believer will grow into honesty, candor, openness, truthfulness, genuineness, without an agenda other than to seek the truth of the Word of God, “thirsty for the pure milk of the Word.”

“Taste and see” leads to a vulnerable state of being, as a newborn open to criticism, cunning, attempts to discredit. The believer, however, can identify the unseen source of these attempts is the enemy who would destroy this babe.  The infant is not defenseless; it has a Father who has given an arsenal of weapons to use against the attacks.  This infant can “grow up into deliverance” by the Word of God.

Taste and see that Adonai is good.  How blessed are those who take refuge in him. – Psalmist.

Pray – Those who seek Adonai lack nothing good.  It shows in their lifestyle.  It shows in their relationships.

Repent – I repent for those times I engaged in actions that could be called malicious or deceitful.

Ask – I have tasted and the Lord is good.  Teach me the fear of Adonai.  Keep my tongue from evil and my lips from deceiving talk.

Yes – I will bless Adonai at all times; his praise will always be in my mouth.  Psalm 34

 

Source: 1 Peter and Psalms

be full of joy …

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

From 1 Peter:

1From: Kefa (Peter), an emissary of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah

To: God’s chosen people, living as aliens in the Diaspora — in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, the province of Asia, and Bythinia — 2chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father and set apart by the Spirit for obeying Yeshua (Jesus)  the Messiah and for sprinkling with his blood:

Grace and shalom be yours in full measure.

3Praised be God, Father of our Lord Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah, who, in keeping with his great mercy, has caused us, through the resurrection of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah from the dead, to be born again to a living hope, 4to an inheritance that cannot decay, spoil or fade, kept safe for you in heaven. 5Meanwhile, through trusting, you are being protected by God’s power for a deliverance ready to be revealed at the Last Time. 6Rejoice in this, even though for a little while you may have to experience grief in various trials. 7Even gold is tested for genuineness by fire. The purpose of these trials is so that your trust’s genuineness, which is far more valuable than perishable gold, will be judged worthy of praise, glory and honor at the revealing of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah.

8Without having seen him, you love him. Without seeing him now, but trusting in him, you continue to be full of joy that is glorious beyond words. 9And you are receiving what your trust is aiming at, namely, your deliverance.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/1pe.1>

Words in parentheses placed by this author.

“Born again to a living hope”  that is, Christ.

What is alive does not fade, spoil or decay.  The life received through faith in Christ, gained in his resurrection, is the hope he grants to always, eternally, be his chosen.  The rough times, testing times that come need not take the believer’s full focus.  They are a process of refining, as gold is.  The old is removed and the new remains.  In this, the believer can rejoice they are worthy to be refined!

The genuineness of the believer’s faith is revealed through the trials.  Therefore, rejoice in the tests, the down times, the stretching.  Rejoice because the very existence of the hard times speaks to the hope Christ gives.  The joy is in him, not in the trial, not in the pain, but in the Christ who will deliver.  So think of it as endurance or strength training.  It’s not easy, it calls for discipline, but the benefits are well-being and good health.  So too, the hard times bring spiritual strength and well-being; they should teach the believer how to lift their focus from themselves to God.  Not looking at the situation but looking forward to the deliverance, looking upward to the God who delivers.  “In all things give thanks” for this creates a strong army of believers who continue to stand for truth.

Pray – Praise be to God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in keeping with his great mercy, has caused us, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to be born again to a living hope, to an inheritance that cannot decay, spoil or fade, kept safe for us in heaven.

Repent – I repent for those time I allowed hard, painful experiences to refocus my attention from You to me.

Ask – May my experience with grief be the test of fire to reveal my genuine faith in You, God.  May I be found faithful, full of faith for removing my focus from my experiences to You and what You do.

Yes – trusting in You brings a joy the unbeliever cannot know. It is an impossibility to be thankful during pain; unless one is refocused to thank You for the deliverance which will come.  Loving Christ, even though unseen, is joy.  1 Peter 41:1-9

Source: 1 Peter

contempt for Adonai bears fearful consequences…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

From Numbers 16:

Then Datan   (Dathan) and Aviram (Abiram) came out and stood at the entrance to their tents with their wives, sons and little ones. 28Moshe (Moses)  said, “Here is how you will know that Adonai has sent me to do all these things and that I haven’t done them out of my own ambition: 29if these men die a natural death like other people, only sharing the fate common to all humanity, then Adonai has not sent me. 30But if Adonai does something new — if the ground opens up and swallows them with everything they own, and they go down alive to Sh’ol — then you will understand that these men have had contempt for Adonai.”

31The moment he finished speaking, the ground under them split apart — 32the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up with their households, all the people who had sided with Korach  (Korah)and everything they owned. 33So they and everything they owned went down alive into Sh’ol, the earth closed over them and their existence in the community ceased. 34All Isra’el around them fled at their shrieks, shouting, “The earth might swallow us too!” 35Then fire came out from Adonai and destroyed the 250 men who had offered the incense.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/num.16>

English names for Hebrews are in parentheses placed there by this author

korah

It is a fearful thing to disrespect God.  This fear is a mix of knowledge, awareness and respect for authority.  It is wisdom.

 The fear of Adonai is the beginning of knowledge,but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:7

A knowledge of the capability, the consequences, an awareness of the danger that is potential and real, a respect for the nature of anything will give way to wisdom in how that entity is approached.

Working with raw glass is a prime example.  Raw glass when mishandled can cause deadly harm.  There is a wise, correct way to handle it.  There are precautions to take, safety gear to wear and safety measures to follow.  Those who do not use wisdom with what they have been taught and proceed with an attitude that they know better, are stronger or bigger than those who gave the instructions are often injured; some of them become drastically impaired if they live.

Knowledge of who God is and what He does was available to these men.  They were lacking in wisdom to use that knowledge and live wisely.  Fear of God is missing.  It is replaced with arrogance and confidence in self.  Lack of respect placed them in a position of peril.  Paul advises the believer to know God and live wisely.  (Ephesians 5:15) This event is recorded for the benefit of all who profess a belief in God, develop a relationship with Him through Christ, and take advantage of the grace offered.  Those in this event did none of the above.  They had knowledge but  self had risen above God and hindered their spiritual eyes and ears to see and hear.  They were deceived and it cost them.

The same is true today.  Those who are deceived are subject to God’s judgment.  It may not come in the form of the earth opening up and swallowing them but it does come in other ways.  There are plenty of testimonies available sharing that those whose eyes and ears were opened were able to be freed from the deception.

God is holy, will not be mocked or disrespected, but is also long-suffering and merciful.  It is great to be living in the days of grace, having knowledge of Jesus so abundantly available.

Pray – May we bring You praise.  May we speak as one whose eyes have been opened; as one who hears God’s words; who sees what Shaddai sees, who has fallen, yet has open eyes.  Numbers 24:3

Repent – I repent for those times I did not speak the words you gave, O God.  I repent for those who refuse to see or hear your words.

Ask – That spirit that confuses your people; that one who hinders your words from being heard or seen, may you destroy that one.  I will call on God and Adonai will save us.  He redeems us and gives us peace.  Psalms 55

Yes – I will praise you forever for what you have done, and I will put my hope in your name; for this is good in the presence of your faithful.  Psalm 52:1

Source:  Numbers 16, 24, Ephesians 5:15  and Psalms 52, 55,

 

Blinded by self…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

From Numbers 16

15Moshe (Moses) was very angry and said to Adonai, “Don’t accept their grain offering! I haven’t taken one donkey from them, I’ve done nothing wrong to any of them.” 16Moshe (Moses) said to Korach (Korah), “You and your group, be there before Adonai tomorrow — you, they and Aharon (Aaron). 17Each of you take his fire pan and put incense in it; every one of you, bring before Adonai his fire pan, 250 fire pans, you too, and Aharon (Aaron) — each one his fire pan.”

18Each man took his fire pan, put fire in it, laid incense on it and stood at the entrance to the tent of meeting with Moshe  (Moses) and Aharon (Aaron). 19Korach  (Korah) assembled all the group who were against them at the entrance to the tent of meeting. Then the glory of Adonai appeared to the whole assembly.

(iii) 20Adonai said to Moshe  (Moses) and Aharon (Aaron), 21“Separate yourselves from this assembly; I’m going to destroy them right now!” 22They fell on their faces and said, “Oh God, God of the spirits of all humankind, if one person sins, are you going to be angry with the entire assembly?” 23Adonai answered Moshe  (Moses), 24“Tell the assembly to move away from the homes of Korach  (Korah), Datan  (Dathan) and Aviram   (Abiram).” 25Moshe  (Moses) got up and went to Datan and Aviram, and the leaders of Isra’el followed him. 26There he said to the assembly, “Leave the tents of these wicked men! Don’t touch anything that belongs to them, or you may be swept away in all their sins.” 27So they moved away from all around the area where Korach (Korah), Datan  (Dathan) and Aviram   (Abiram) lived.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/num.16>

English names for Hebrews are in parentheses placed there by this author

Moses expressed his anger at being unjustly accused to God. But when God said he would destroy all the people, Moses went down on his face once more to plead for them.   A man of God subjected to false accusations and attacked for his position expresses anger but only to God.  A humble man as well, he pleads for their redemption.

The taking of the fire and fire pans was a test.  These men were not dedicated to the task so in following through and doing so they were breaking established order set by God.  It was a defiant act of disobedience and disrespect.  They had to consider the previous events recorded in Leviticus 10:1-2 where two were consumed by fire when they inappropriately handled the incense. These are men who daily served in the tabernacle of God; they knew the possible consequences. When these failed to exercise caution and obedience to God, they demonstrated the true nature of their hearts.  Moses knows what is coming and warns the rest of the assembly to step away from the leaders of the rebellion.

It is a fearful thing to come against God’s commands.  There is no respect for Him, no honor when the self rises above his commands.  The ambition and arrogance of these men will be the cause for the judgment about to fall upon them from a holy God.  Their pride, self-importance and jealousy blinded them.  They could not spiritually discern God’s calling on Moses and Aaron.  It was to be their downfall.

The take-away is for all believers to consider God’s commands as supreme.  One cannot defy a holy God with disrespect without also incurring the consequences.  Grace is available today to those who repent; but consequences will come.  The age of grace does not change who God is and what God does.  It provides for humankind’s redemption and shows mercy to a repentant heart.  This is not a call to legalism but to spiritual discernment.  The quest for self blinds the seeker.  They are vulnerable to deception which leads to separation from God.  It is vital to a healthy, overcoming life to be seekers of Christ and disciples of who he is and what he does.

Pray – O God, you are my God and I will ever praise you.  It isn’t about who I am but who you are.

Repent – I repent for the direction many take leading away from you in a search for self.  Please be merciful with them.

Ask – May we always lift you up: “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men to me.” – Jesus. You, Lord, Your will is our desire.

Yes – Bless, Adonai, my soul!  Adonai my God, you are very great!  Psalm 104:1

Source: Numbers, Leviticus, and Psalm 104

Beware of what is unseen…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

From Numbers 16:

8Then Moshe (Moses) said to Korach (Korah), “Listen here, you sons of Levi! 9Is it for you a mere trifle that the God of Isra’el has separated you from the community of Isra’el to bring you close to himself, so that you can do the work in the tabernacle of Adonai and stand before the community serving them? 10He has brought you close and all your brothers the sons of Levi with you. Now you want the office of cohen (Priest) too! 11That’s why you and your group have gathered together against Adonai! After all, what is Aharon (Aaron) that you complain against him?”

12Then Moshe sent to summon Datan (Dathan) and Aviram  (Abiram), the sons of Eli’av  (Eliab). But they replied, “We won’t come up! 13Is it such a mere trifle, bringing us up from a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the desert, that now you arrogate to yourself the role of dictator over us? (ii) 14You haven’t at all brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, and you haven’t put us in possession of fields and vineyards. Do you think you can gouge out these men’s eyes and blind them? We won’t come up!”

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/num.16>

*words in parenthesis are English for the Hebrew placed by this author.

The heart of the matter is a grab for power.  It is couched in words of men’s reason. But God.  Truth is revealed to Moses:  “You want the office of priest.  That’s why you and yours have gathered against Adonai!” They made it appear to the assembly as if they were against Moses and Aaron for designating themselves as overseers of the assembly.  They made it look as if the wandering about in the wilderness was Moses’ and Aaron’s doing.  They questioned why they weren’t being taken into the land of milk and honey.  They accuse Moses and Aaron of attempting to keep control; have it their way.  Moses was able to see the truth of the matter.  Moses walked with God and because of this relationship saw beyond the men to the real enemy.  “You have gathered against Adonai!”  There is only one who defies God impudently and that is Satan the enemy of the human soul.  Truth will prevail.  Eyes are blinded, the people are manipulated by the lie.  “Did God say?”  continues to place doubt and cause division.

The political half of the rebellion refused to even come up when Moses called them.  Their arrogance is in full view of the people.  Their response to Moses clearly shows their intent to take authority from him.  They accuse him of blinding the assembly to truth when in fact it is they who do so.

These tactics continue today on so many levels.  Satan uses them to divide God’s people at every opportunity and those who are immature are taken in and deceived.  The assembly heard and were swayed by those rebelling.  None of these were open to instruction from God.  They were full of themselves and their ’cause,’ ideologies, thinking that is skewed away from God.  Unable to receive correction through Moses, they are left wide open to God’s judgment and correction.  Self has once again risen to take its place over God.  The move is subtle but can be heard by those whose ears are open to hear.

In this day, self-esteem led to self-awareness and now to self-identity.  Who do God’s people seek?  Their own identity or God’s?  A warning is being sounded, a caution.  The question: “Did God really say?” led to a lie.  ” He (God) knows that when you eat you will…”  And evil was revealed; was birthed in humanity. This deception continues today in the cloak of seeking identity.  Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, His righteousness is received and identity is revealed.  Then all these things will be added to you.  Matthew 6:33

Pray – Lord we have been given your Word both scripture and in Jesus.  May we heed what it says, apply it to our lives, our thinking and actions so we can build your kingdom, not one of our own making.

Repent – Lord, I’m sorry for the movement away from You.  Please open eyes and ears to see and hear from you.

Ask –  I join with you in asking that we be completely one and those outside the assembly of believers may realize who you are and who you sent.  I ask that your love be manifest in how we love one another.

Yes – Righteous Father, the world has not known you, but I have known you, and these people have known that you sent me.  I have made your name known to them, and I will continue to make it known; so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I myself may be united with them. – Jesus.  I pray this with you, Lord, may it ever be You who is seen and glorified.

John 17:25-26

May I never be guilty of flattering you with my lips…may my heart be always yours, obvious in what I do and say…careful to follow your commands, to give you honor and respect.

Source: Numbers 16 and John 17

why do you lift yourselves up?…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

From Numbers 16:

 1Now Korach (Korah) the son of Yitz’har (Izhar), the son of K’hat (Kohath), the son of Levi, along with Datan(Dathan) and Aviram (Abiram), the sons of Eli’av (Eliab), and On, the son of Pelet (Peleth), descendants of Re’uven (Reuben), took men and 2rebelled against Moshe (Moses). Siding with them were 250 men of Isra’el, leaders of the community, key members of the council, men of reputation. 3They assembled themselves against Moshe(Moses) and Aharon(Aaron) and said to them, “You take too much on yourselves! After all, the entire community is holy, every one of them, and Adonai is among them. So why do you lift yourselves up above Adonai’s assembly?”

4When Moshe (Moses)heard this he fell on his face. 5Then he said to Korach (Korah) and his whole group, “In the morning, Adonai will show who are his and who is the holy person he will allow to approach him. Yes, he will bring whomever he chooses near to himself. 6Do this: take censers, Korach (Korah)and all your group; 7put fire in them; and put incense in them before Adonai tomorrow. The one whom Adonai chooses will be the one who is holy! It is you, you sons of Levi, who are taking too much on yourselves!”

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/num.16>

*words in parentheses placed by me from English translation.

Korah is a Levite whose assignment from God – given through Moses – is to work in the temple serving the people but not as a priest.  Dathan, Abiram, and On serve as leaders of the community.  Questions are raised against the authority that was granted by God; they are coming from two camps; religious and political.  Dissatisfaction with the present assignment is causing strife.  They are ambitious and arrogant.  They say they are asking for the ability to assist or share in the responsibilities of Moses and Aaron.  This is deception.  They manipulate the assembly through the use of words.  They question the mantle of authority placed upon Moses and Aaron by God.

Moses does not defend himself.  The opposite is true.  He lays prostrate on the ground before the assembly; his is an act of humility and vulnerability.  His trust is in God and His Word, not in his own accomplishments. God has already spoken on the subject.  (See Leviticus 30:9) The question:  why do you lift yourselves up above Adonai’s assembly?” is directed at Moses before the people but as God told Moses before; in reality it is directed at God. It is God’s Word that they rebel against.  Moses rises from the dirt to say they will once again let God speak His will.

Two groups, Moses and Aaron, anointed by God, and some leaders of the community are in conflict.  The first relies upon God for direction and wisdom, the second relies on their own imagination, reasoning and abilities.  This type of conflict persists today among the community of believers.  It has been suggested that what is also at work here is an example of spiritual immaturity.  Those in rebellion have not engaged in the spiritual battles Moses has.  They have not had the same communication with God.  This is evidenced by their actions. What did they know of Moses’ relationship with God?  Did they not know that Moses and Aaron acted only under the direct command of God?  These rebels did not face Pharaoh…as Moses and Aaron had. When conflicts of this nature arise today it is best to seek God for wisdom.  The Word of God gives the believer the advice to seek unity not division, to serve one another not selfish desires.

Pray – Lord, examine me to see if I am living the life of trust in You.  The Messiah is alive in me and You say I am not a failure.  I pray to God, to You, that I will do nothing wrong.  2 Corinthians 13:5-7

Repent – I repent for the times I was more concerned about what others thought than what You think.

Ask – I cannot act against the truth, only for it.  So I will rejoice when I am weak and You are strong.  You are not weak in dealing with me, but strong.

Yes – You died in weakness but rose in power and You are powerful in me.  I will live with You, Jesus, by God’s power. 2 Corinthian 13:1-10

Source: Numbers 16 and 2 Corinthians 13:1-10