“And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.” Numbers 16:48 (KJB)
A company of three – Korah, Dathan, and Abiram challenged the authority of Moses and Aaron in Numbers 16:1-40. They would learn quite quickly that God will judge such rebellion, and the LORD opened the earth and swallowed them and much of their families and possessions. God does not allow evil to continue, especially among His people, for too long.
Low and behold it is no time; the very next day (v. 41) that the congregation begins to complain against Moses and Aaron charging them with killing the LORD’S people (v.41). Did Moses and Aaron cause the earth to divide and swallow Korah, Dathan, and Abiram? They did not. God did. Because of this rebellion the LORD brought a plague upon the congregation, and in that plague fourteen thousand seven hundred people died (v. 49).
Had it not been for the mercy and love of God, the love of Aaron and Moses, and God’s abundant grace there would have been many more perish. We have Moses giving Aaron instruction on how to deal with this plague of death in verse 46. A fire pan with incense for Aaron to run through the midst of the people, and as it is written, “made atonement for the people” (v. 47).
For those who say God does not judge they are making god after their own likeness and fashion. They worship a god of their own making, their own creation. That god is a puny, heartless, handless, footless, god which can accomplish nothing worthwhile in anyone’s life. There is only one verse in all of Scripture which tells us that “God is love” (1 John 4:8) and people flock to that to claim His love. There are many more verses which tells us that God judges sin, evil, all wickedness that is against Him, His word, His Son, His holiness, and His righteousness; and the “Lovers” want to deny those. What they really love is their own version of god.
Aaron stood between the dead and the living with this bowl of fire and incense, making atonement for the people, and may lives were saved from death. O the mercy, grace, and love of God.
Let us Christians of 2018 never think, “What foolish people they were”, before we look into the mirror of the word (James 1:23-24), and ourselves realize that we are really no different. We hear God’s word. We rebel against God, and choose our own way. We many times deny the authority of those God has put in place to lead us.
Will we never learn? That is the title of this lesson; but it is also a question I need to ask. One you need to ask concerning God and His word.