An Act of Disobedience…the People Deciding Numbers 13:1-20:13, cont’d.
Numbers 16 The Prideful Rebellion
Numbers 16:1-40-Korah (great-grandson of Levi), Dathan, Abiram, and On, along with 250 representatives of the tribes of Israel...rose up in rebellion against Moses and Aaron. They claimed that because all of the people were holy, Moses had no right to claim authority over them. Actually, they were not satisfied with the role that God had given them as Levites...and were also seeking to become Priests (:10, a role reserved exclusively for the sons of Aaron).
Numbers 16:14-Dathan and Abiram claim that Moses had failed to bring them to the Promised Land...when in fact, he had done so but the people had accepted the bad report of the spies and refused to go in. They try to put the proverbial monkey on Moses' back...claiming that he is the reason that they have failed, when in fact, they failed because they would not follow his leadership.
Numbers 16:30-"Sheol"...a term that speaks of the grave, the burial place of the dead.
Numbers 16:41-50-Even after this had happened, on the very next day the congregation again began to murmur...this time blaming Moses for what happened to those that had just died. A plague broke out among them and before Aaron could offer incense for atonement 14,700 of them had died.
Time and again, the people try to usurp the God-given role of Moses. It was not enough for them that they were the chosen people...they wanted to be the ruling people. And, they not only wanted to rule, they wanted to determine how they would worship God. For example, the golden calf, taking over the Priesthood, and offering incense that they had prepared (not what God had stipulated).
Numbers 17-19 The Levites Instructed
Numbers 17:1-13-God shows that He has chosen Aaron's family to be the Priests...and none other...by causing an almond branch to bloom, bud, and bear ripe almonds.
Numbers 17:10-God says that the "grumblings" had been against Him...although the people always blamed Moses.
Numbers 17:12-13-Instead of praising God (when they again see that He is in control and powerful), the people have a pity party...complaining again that they are not allowed to come near to God (represented by the Tabernacle), or they will die. As typical, they take the facts further than they really go...saying that not only will they die if they come near the Tabernacle...but, they fear that eventually they will all die, regardless of what they do.
Prayer: Lord, please let Your calling upon my life be as clear as it was upon Moses. And help me to have His heart...His desire to serve You (as You have determined, and regardless of what others may say), His humility (giving You all of the recognition and praise for what You do through Him), and, His love for the people (even when they were against him).