About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Dathan, and Abiram (ch. 16:1
verses 1 through 3 we see Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, along with two
hundred and fifty prominent men in Israel
rise up and confront Moses and Aaron.
In verse 2 we see the "council" mentioned.
So far in our study of
men were questioning the leadership of Moses and Aaron.
They said that the whole community of
other point to be made here is, was Israel
really holy? I don't think
so. Their behaviour
certainly showed that. Even
if they were holy, that most likely would not change the fact that God
wanted Moses and Aaron to lead
responds to Korah in verses 4 to 8.
He told Korah to prepare to burn incense in the morning, and then
the Lord Himself would choose who is holy and who would lead Israel.
fell on his face, something he has done before.
This is a form of intercessory and also great anguish before the
Lord. Moses was close to
God. Such things really
bothered him. This is
something we should learn from the life of Moses.
Things like this should bother us as Christians as well.
The problem is that most of us don't get bothered by
unrighteousness in God's people, and it should bother us.
This tells me that our heart's are not in the right place.
We are too worldly
learn in verse 7 that Korah and the two hundred and fifty men were
Levites. They accused Moses
of going too far, and now Moses accuses them of going too far as well.
this point in Jewish history, the nation was a theocracy.
This means that there was not a distinction between civil and
religious leadership. The
religious leaders were the civil leaders.
Moses was both the prophet of God and the leader in civil
matters. He had men under
his authority. These men
were also united in both civil and religious leadership.
That being said, there was somewhat of a distinction.
The Levites were priests and therefore had their priestly
responsibilities. On the
other hand, a few chapters back, God had Moses set aside seventy men to
help is matters of disputes among the people.
This would be more civil in nature. So those under Moses had
their realm of responsibility and there was a measure of separation
between the civil and the religious, but when it came to Moses Himself,
the two were united in one man. In
this sense, Moses was a type of Jesus.
Moses was symbolic of Jesus.
Jesus is both a king and a priest, and in one since of the word,
so are real Christians.
this point I need to state that all of these two hundred and fifty men
were not Levites. Some were
of the camp of Rueben. This
is important to know in order to understand the following verses.
verses 8 and 9 Moses says to Korah that basically he should be happy
that God has separated the Levites until Himself to minister in the
tabernacle. This is a
special calling of God, and that should mean something.
It seems that Korah wants more than what God has for him.
This is human tendency. Wherever
God has led us, and whatever He has made of us, we should be satisfied.
verses 10 and 11 Moses said that now these men, some Levites and some
Ruebenites wanted to be priests. They
weren't happy with the place God had put them in.
Priests came from the tribe of Levi, but not all Levites were
verses 12 and 13 we see that Moses summoned Abiram and Eliab to come to
him. They refused.
Their refusal was a direct act of disobedience.
They accuse Moses of "lording it over them".
This phrase is clearly meant to say that Moses was a harsh
dictator. Jesus in the New
Testament uses the same term concerning Christians.
He says that we should not "lord it over others", but
we should "serve others".
This is an important study in itself. Abuse
of leadership in the church by over authoritative pastors is often a
verses 13 and 14 these two men accuse Moses of leading them out of a
land flowing with milk and honey. Once
again, Israelis are looking back to their enslavement in
two men also accuse Moses of having them die in the desert.
There is a bit of truth in this statement.
As we saw earlier, people over twenty years of age who complained
were cursed by God. God said
that they would not enter the promised land but would die in the desert.
The wrong part of the rebels statement is that this was not Moses
decision. It was God's
decision based on Israel's rebellion. They were
dying in the desert due to their own choice, not Moses'.
men also complain to Moses saying that he did not lead them into the
promise land. This is a
blatant misstatement. Moses
and God wanted them to enter the promised land.
They were the once who chose not too.
These men have allowed their complaining to get so far out of
hand that they believe their own lies.
This too is human tendency. So
often people get stressed out in life and begin to complain.
If this doesn't get caught and dealt with, the same thing
happens. We begin to believe
things that aren't true to be true.
see Moses getting angry again. He
tells God to not accept the offering of incense that the two hundred and
fifty men were going to give. Moses
is a man of intercessory prayer. He
often intercedes on behalf of
verses 16 through 19 we see that the two hundred and fifty men, along
with Aaron and Korah came to the Tent of the Meeting and offered incense
to the Lord. Moses did not
offer any incense, or that appears to be the case.
verses 20 and 21 God told Moses and Aaron to separate themselves from
the rest so He could put an end to them.
God often does this, even in New Testament times.
He will call His people out of a particular church group, and He
will put and end to that group because they refuse to follow Him.
see in verses 22 and 23 that both Moses and Aaron intercede on the
verses 28 to 30 Moses tells the assembly of people the plan.
One of two things would happen. Either these men and their
procession would die immediately by the ground opening up and swallowing
them, or else they would die a natural death in old age.
If they died in front of their very eyes that day, all Israel
should interpret that to mean that God had chosen Moses to be their
leaders. It's as simple as
soon as Moses said those words, in verses 31 to 34 the ground opened and
swallowed up all the families of these men.
These men not only took themselves down, but their families down
with them. This was a
we see in these men that were swallowed up by the ground is great
arrogance and defiance. I
picture them standing at the door of their tents, arms crossed, telling
Moses, "I dare you". It
is such arrogance that the Lord hares and judges people for.
verses 35 to 38 God told Moses to have all the censers melted down and
make a covering for the altar in the outer court of the tabernacle.
Now this altar already had a covering, but this was to be a
second covering as a memorial of this event.
Throughout the Old Testament, God has His people do things as a
memorial of something that they should always remember.
God wants us to learn from history past, but we seldom do.
I think God sees history as important, but we tend to divorce
ourselves from the things in the past that God wants us to remember.
For example, the very reason we celebrate the Lord's Supper is
for us to remember the cross.
verses 39 and 40 the censers were made into a covering for the altar.
This was to be a reminder that only priests could burn incense as
a form of worship to the Lord. This
shows us how God feels about this issue.
He takes His laws very seriously.
burning of incense is often representative of prayer and praise to the
Lord. In Old Testament days,
only priest could do such a thing. Those
men who were killed in this chapter weren't priests.
Yet, in New Testament times, all those who are true followers of
Jesus are priests. We have
been given free access to worship Jesus in prayer and praise.
Yet only New Testament believers, New Testament priests should
participate in such prayer and praise.
I don't think Jesus is all that happy when non-Christians attempt
to do the same in what I would call non-Christian churches. I
think there is a lesson for us to learn here.
41is hard to believe. After
in such power right before our very eyes.
in such power right before our very eyes.
verses 42 to 45 we see that God is extremely angry.
God tells Moses and Aaron to move out of the way because He was
ready to kill them all off.
here that the cloud came to the Tent of the Meeting and "the glory
of the Lord" was seen there. We
often think of the glory of the Lord in more positive terms.
The Bible says in a number of places that at the end of this age
the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.
We often think of the glory of the Lord covering the earth as a
positive and glorious thing, but that might not be the case at the end
of this age. It was not the
case here in Numbers 16. The
glory of God is seen in His anger, and His anger will cover the earth as
the waters cover the sea in the Great Tribulation.
these words were said by God, in verse 45, both Moses and Aaron fall
face down to the ground, as they have done so many times. This
is both a gesture of disgust and sadness.
verse 46 to the end of the chapter, because of the request of Moses,
Aaron ran through the camp of
at this point the word "wrath" is used in the text and not the
word "anger". Wrath
is stronger than anger. Wrath
is uncontrollable anger. It
is an explosion of great anger. Fourteen
thousand, seven hundred people were killed with the plague, which
included those who were killed earlier when the earth swallowed them up.
Atonement was made for the sins of
the Old Testament we see the sinfulness of man, and that includes the