“And Moses said unto Korah, Hear, I pray you, ye sons of Levi: seemeth it but a small thing unto you, that the God of Israel hath separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself to do the service of the tabernacle of the LORD, and to stand before the congregation to minister unto them? And He hath brought thee near to Him, and all thy brethren the sons of Levi with thee: and seek ye the priesthood also? For which cause both thou and all thy company are gathered together against the LORD: and what is Aaron, that ye murmur against him?” Numbers 16:8-11 (KJV)
Korah, Dathan, and Abiram were family in the tribe of Levi, and the children of Israel journeyed through the wilderness, out of Egypt. The family of Aaron was appointed as the family of the priesthood, and these Levites were caretakers of the “Holy articles” of the tabernacle. Yet, at least these three raised a ruckus against Moses and Aaron and GOD.
This is one sad event, but too often repeated in the Biblical history, as well as throughout world history. People who are not content with their God given place in service and life. That is where wars and strife come from (James 4:1-2).
Look at the leadership of Moses. He states the case for what it is. It is a rebellion against the LORD (v. 11 in the text above). These were God’s people, going God’s way, doing God’s will; and yet there was discontent, jealousy, and bitterness. All those things are against God.
As Korah gathered the congregation together against God, Moses, and Aaron “…The glory of the LORD appeared unto all the congregation” (v. 19). The LORD had appointed Moses and Aaron to their positions of leadership, and the other Levites to their positions. It is a dangerous thing to challenge God, and His appointments, and/or His authority to do so; then to question the authority of those He has placed in authority.
Moses pleads with Korah, Dathan, and Abiram (vv. 8-9), to change their heart and mind; but to no avail. Moses and Aaron fall on their faces before the LORD (v. 22), and plead with God for the congregation, and God’s mercy upon them.
All who would separate themselves from the uprising, and the three men would be spared the event that was about to happen.
Because they refused to repent the judgment of God was about to fall. Hear the words of Moses to the men and the congregation….
“And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind. If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the LORD hath not sent me. But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD. And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them: and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation. And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also.” vv. 28-34
We all need to consider these words which are from God. This by no means even hints at toleration of evil and godless leadership; especially within a Congregation of Christian people. Neither does it allow for false teachers who preach contrary to the content of Scripture, or of Christ Jesus.
Let us be content with our calling and place in life. Let us do our part, and not even desire the office of another. If we could we might want to ask Korah, Dathan, and Abiram about the reality of God’s wrath and judgment. I think they would agree with…
“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).
You do not need to perish. Realize you have sinned, that God sent His Son Jesus to die for you; that He was buried, and that He rose again from the grave, and that He eternally lives giving life to all who believe Him.