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.
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