Rebellion Against God Pt 2
In Chapter 16 , we read of the rebellion of Korah and his fellow-rebels. One would have thought that Korah, Dathan and Abram would have learned a lesson when Miriam was put outside the camp for seven days for her rebellion against Moses.
A wise man learns from the mistakes of others. But a foolish person makes the same mistake himself.
Most of the other Israelites had learnt a lesson from Miriam's example, but not Korah, Dathan, and Abram. God punished Korah, Dathan and Abram by sending them alive to hell.
We read of two people who went to heaven alive- Enoch and Elijah, and possibly the Blessed Virgin as well. here we read of the only people who went alive into hell.
Initially there were four men who rebelled against Moses-Korah, Dathan, Abrahm, and On (Numbers 16:1). Moses told them to come back the next morning (verse 5). Overnight, one of these four men-On-came to his senses, repented and backed out. thus he saved his family as well from destruction. Moses called Dathan and abram to warn them privately, but they refused to meet him (verse 12).
There pride and arrogance in refusing to meet Moses sealed their fate and the fate of their families.
The next morning these three men came to Moses with no change in their rebellious attitudes (verse 24).
The Lord then told the people to pull back from the tents of Lorah, Dathan, and Abrahm-and the people did. But now something interesting happened-that is not recorded in Chapter 16., but only in Chapter 26:11. there we read that the sons of Lorah did not die. They must have been grown sons. They had stood outside their tent, with their father initially, in his rebellion against Moses. But when the Lord told the people to pull back from the tents of the rebels, these sons of Korah obeyed. They told their father, "Dad we are not standing with you. We're going to stand with Moses."- and they ran to Moses' side. Sometimes children have more sense than their parents! Thus they escaped hell. But the Israelites blamed Moses for the death of these rebels and so another 14,700 people joined the rebels in hell that day (16:41-49).
To rebel against a godly man is a very serious thing in God's eyes. It is not the same as rebelling against dead religious leaders-which may at times be necessary!
The Descendants of those sons of Korah (who escaped death), were the song leaders of God's people in David's time. They are the ones who wrote Psalms 42 to 49. and psalms 84 etc. Psalms 46:2-3 speaks about the earth opening up and the mountains sleeping inside, and about God being their refuge at such a time. Undoubtedly they were thinking of the last minute escape of their fathers. because of which they themselves were alive to praise God in their day and age. Then in Psalm 84:10 They wrote, "I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of God than dwell in the tents of wickedness"- (the tents of their father Korah! That's what they meant there). Theses psalms of the sons of Korah become more meaningful to us when we understand the background of the writers.
God now wanted to prove to the Israelites once and for all that it was He himself Who had appointed Aaron to be the high priest- for it was the priestly ministry that Korah and company had questioned and coveted. God told Moses to tell the 12 leaders of the tribes to bring a rod each (Numbers 17). They were to break off a branch from a tree and to bring it with them. Aaron also had to bring one, representing the tribe of Levi. God told them to put all the rods in the tent, and in the morning the one He approved of would bear fruit on the dead broken branch (verse 8). Thus the Lord put an end to the dispute about whom He had chosen.
This is how the Lord identifies the servant whom He has chosen-by the principle of resurrection-life coming out of a dead branch. What that means for us is that in the midst of spiritual death, God preserves the servants alive.
They are not swallowed up by the spiritual death around them. Like Aaron's rod they bring forth fruit in the midst of death. Their anointing is always fresh like fresh fruit. Constant freshness in the ministry is so rare to see in anyone theses days-and yet that is mark of the man God anoints. Aaron's rod stayed fresh throughout the wilderness journey.
We find a lovely verse in Chapter 18:20, where the Lord tells Aaron, "You shall have no inheritance in the promised land when you go there. I am your portion and your inheritance." This is what the Lord says to us too. There is nothing wrong in owning a house or land. But if you ever get attached to any of it, you can never be a servant of the Lord. If you want to serve the Lord your attitude to everything on this earth must be, "I may have these thing here-a house or a car or even a scooter or whatever. But I am not attache to any of theses things. The Lord is my portion and my inheritance. The other things the Lord can take away any time he wants."