"Revolt is revolt whether it is militant, blatant rebellion or quiet, respectable indifference.” (Source Unknown, Lou Nicholes - Missionary/Author).
The most critical event of the years of wandering was the rebellion of Korah and his company against Moses and Aaron. Miriam’s and Aaron’s envy against Moses before the pronouncement of judgment at Kadesh was mild compared to this rebellion stirred up by Korah (vv. 1-35). When you review the history of Israel from Egypt to Canaan, you discover that the nation got into trouble every time they resisted the leadership of Moses and Aaron. Whenever God sought to build the people’s faith by bringing them into a difficult situation, they immediately rebelled against Moses and Aaron, blamed them for their plight, and wanted to return to Egypt.
Whether it’s the ancient camp of Israel or a modern city today, no society can function without subordination in a chain of command. Someone has to be in charge. Parents have authority in the home, teachers in the classroom, managers in the factory or office, and civil servants in the city or nation (Rom. 13:1). When this order breaks down, society is in serious trouble. God had chosen Moses to be the leader of the nation and Aaron to be the high priest; to resist this arrangement was to rebel against the will of God and bring serious division to the camp.
Though he was Israel’s top leader, Moses recognized those occasions where it was the best part of wisdom to let God reveal His mind directly to the people without using him as the spokesman (v. 5). He didn’t debate with Korah and his crowd and try to change their minds, because he knew their aim was to take over the priesthood, something the Lord would never permit. One of the easiest ways to fall away from following God is to look at our present problems and exaggerate them. Two men by the names of Dathan and Abiram did just that. They made the complaint that Moses had not only failed to take them into the Promised Land flowing with milk and honey (Canaan) but had made himself a prince and was “lording it over” the people (v. 13). Their was no doubt that these spiritually ignorant men had envy in their hearts and wanted to take over the leadership themselves.
Lord help me to never argue with those who may accuse me falsely but pray to the Lord and ask Him to vindicate me just as Moses did with Korah and his company.
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Numbers 13:1-33The spies sent into Canaan
Numbers 14:1-10Israel refuses to enter Canaan
Numbers 14:11-25Moses intercedes for the people
Numbers 14:26-38Death sentence on the rebels
Numbers 14:39-45A futile invasion attempt
Numbers 15:1-15The transition from one generation to the next
Numbers 15:17-41Sacrifice for the sin of ignorance
Numbers 16:1-22The rebellion of Korah
Numbers 16:23-50God’s severe judgment on Korah’s crowd
Numbers 17:1-13The budding of Aaron’s rod
Numbers 18:1-19God held Aaron and his sons responsible for the tabernacle ministry
Numbers 18:20-32Servants of the Lord deserve to be supported by His people
Numbers 19:1-22The ashes of a heifer used to purify the unclean