Awesome Hands – Part 128: “That he be not as Korah”

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Awesome Hands – part 128

"That he be not as Korah"

January 19, 2018


It has been a common thread, in my recent studies, that we are all connected. We should be viewing the world through the eyes of God as He gives us the ability to do so.

I often do not know why the Lord is doing a work in others, and my natural tendencies are to judge them based on what I believe my personal standing with God is. The truth is, on a spiritual level, I am coming up against God in my thoughts a lot of the time.

I often find myself judging a matter based on the individual that is front of me versus the knowledge that God is working a work through them. We often read how God uses people to accomplish this will, and this includes the many people throughout the bible that are not of the household of God at that point in time.

My boss, my neighbor, my friends and my enemies are all examples of people who are used in my life to work the will of God. That vast majority have no clue what is happening in their lives and they chalk it up to the many things in the world that the world offers as reasons of why things happen.

In our study today, we are going to review the story of Korah and the men of renown, and how it is they came up against the people of God.

Memorial unto the children of Israel


While this story is very interesting as a history lesson, it has a very important lesson that we can all apply to our lives today. Our verse for consideration is found in Numbers 16:40.

Num 16:40  To be a memorial unto the children of Israel, that no stranger, which is not of the seed of Aaron, come near to offer incense before the LORD; that he be not as Korah, and as his company: as the LORD said to him by the hand of Moses.

This story is centered around the spirit which has come into the hearts of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. The following verses are from the ESV translation:

Num 16:2  And they rose up before Moses, with a number of the people of Israel, 250 chiefs of the congregation, chosen from the assembly, well-known men.
Num 16:3  They assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron and said to them, "You have gone too far! For all in the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?"
Num 16:4  When Moses heard it, he fell on his face,
Num 16:5  and he said to Korah and all his company, "In the morning the LORD will show who is his, and who is holy, and will bring him near to him. The one whom he chooses he will bring near to him.
Num 16:6  Do this: take censers, Korah and all his company;
Num 16:7  put fire in them and put incense on them before the LORD tomorrow, and the man whom the LORD chooses shall be the holy one. You have gone too far, sons of Levi!"

We aren’t told specifically why these three men stirred up the rest to rise up against Moses and Aaron, except for believing themselves to be as holy, but we do know that the Lord sends spirits to do His bidding. In this case, the spirit told Korah and the others that they were just as good as Moses.

This is the spirit I want to focus on in this study. I also caution everyone to beware of which person or which group you associate yourselves with before you consider how this story applies to you.

There are many times in our lives where we wonder to ourselves why the Lord has worked a work within someone else’s life or why we haven’t been placed in a position we think we should be in. I know this is true of me.

I have been in both Korahs and Moses positions, and I am sure you all can relate too.

The truth is, the Lord uses everyone according to His will. In this story, Korah and the group with Korah, were used to manifest to the children of Israel who was being drawn “near to the Lord”.

Aaron and his sons were all being used of the Lord for the priesthood, and Moses was being used “as a god” to Aaron as we were told earlier in bible. Yet, these all were just men in the flesh playing out various roles.

Jealousy is a very strong emotion as well as envy.

Numbers 16:7  put fire in them and put incense on them before the LORD tomorrow, and the man whom the LORD chooses shall be the holy one. You have gone too far, sons of Levi!”
Numbers 16:8  And Moses said to Korah, “Hear now, you sons of Levi:
Numbers 16:9  is it too small a thing for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself, to do service in the tabernacle of the LORD and to stand before the congregation to minister to them,
Numbers 16:10  and that he has brought you near him, and all your brothers the sons of Levi with you? And would you seek the priesthood also?

Moses poses a serious question to Korah and his gang of men when he asked them why they aren’t okay with their standing in the Lord. Moses didn’t ask them specifically this way, “why aren’t you okay with your standing,” but he asked them in a much stronger way.

Do you count it a small thing to yourself of the work the Lord is doing in your life? I am sure this is something we need to all consider from time to time.

We are all put in the body of Christ, in the kingdom of God and in the world we are in for very specific needs of the Lord.

If we consider ourselves being in these sorts of roles for specific reasons, we will indeed see just how alike we are to the Levites and to the priesthood.

Even though the Lord called and chose Aaron and his sons to be priests, they still had roles to fulfill within the job of being a priest. Likewise, the Levites all had specific things their particular group was responsible for doing.

So, do we count it a small thing the Lord is doing with and in us? If so, listen to Moses speaks to you and me when we think this way.

Numbers 16:11  Therefore it is against the LORD that you and all your company have gathered together. What is Aaron that you grumble against him?”

Indeed, who is Aaron or any other man woman that we grumble against them? Sure, people will given an account to God of how they are used in this life, but that never negates that it is the Lord holding them in His hand and using them as the tool that they have been created to be.

First we grumble, and then we outright disrespect what the Lord is doing in others lives. Once we know in our marrow that God is working in someone’s life, and we assume they are favored while ignoring how it is the Lord favors us, then we make accusations of others thinking they are better than we are.

Numbers 16:12  And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and they said, “We will not come up.
Numbers 16:13  Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, that you must also make yourself a prince over us?
Numbers 16:14  Moreover, you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us inheritance of fields and vineyards. Will you put out the eyes of these men? We will not come up.”
Numbers 16:15  And Moses was very angry and said to the LORD, “Do not respect their offering. I have not taken one donkey from them, and I have not harmed one of them.”

They all knew what the Lord had promised the children of Israel. They knew they were to inherent a land flowing with milk and honey. It had come by way of Moses mouth directly from the Lord. Yet, it is Moses they are murmuring against and angry with.

We don’t often see that Moses becomes angry. It is one of the moments of gravity where we can imagine that he was at the peak of his anger. After all, the holy spirit has seen fit that it be recorded for our history lesson here.

There are certainly times when we see that the Lord is working in a situation which is not pleasant to go through and it indeed angers us.

The difference with us and Moses is that we know that the Lord our God is working all things after the counsel of His own will. We know that the Lord is working it all, yet we are to still to call evil, evil and good, we are to call good.

Jesus Christ came only to do the will of His Father, yet He became angry when the temple of the Lord was turned into a den of thieves.

I see these trials and tests as just that. They are tests for our hearts and minds to show us where we stand. They show us where are thinking is or should be. So, it is appropriate to have righteous anger depending on the situation.

Moses had done nothing wrong according to verse 15, yet these men were coming to him as if he had done some terrible thing to them all.

Numbers 16:16  And Moses said to Korah, “Be present, you and all your company, before the LORD, you and they, and Aaron, tomorrow.
Numbers 16:17  And let every one of you take his censer and put incense on it, and every one of you bring before the LORD his censer, 250 censers; you also, and Aaron, each his censer.”
Numbers 16:18  So every man took his censer and put fire in them and laid incense on them and stood at the entrance of the tent of meeting with Moses and Aaron.
Numbers 16:19  Then Korah assembled all the congregation against them at the entrance of the tent of meeting. And the glory of the LORD appeared to all the congregation.

In the past, I seemed to have just read over this little piece of information. “The glory of the Lord appeared to all the congregation.” This certainly has escalated. Now, everyone is going to see the communion of the Lord with Moses. This indeed can and does invoke fear in the hearts of some. I say this confidently because now there is a change of heart for some.

Numbers 16:20  And the LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying,
Numbers 16:21  “Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.”
Numbers 16:22  And they fell on their faces and said, “O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and will you be angry with all the congregation?”

God pulls no punches. He simply sets out to honor Moses request of “do not accept their offering” by killing those who are causing all this ruckus. It isn’t Moses request that does it though. It is the fact that these men have directly challenged what the Lord has decreed is the way things are to be.

After all, how can those that were slaves, being set free by a miraculous act, take it upon themselves to now say they are in charge of what is going to happen from here on out?

Numbers 16:23  And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
Numbers 16:24  “Say to the congregation, Get away from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.”
Numbers 16:25  Then Moses rose and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him.
Numbers 16:26  And he spoke to the congregation, saying, “Depart, please, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest you be swept away with all their sins.”
Numbers 16:27  So they got away from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. And Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the door of their tents, together with their wives, their sons, and their little ones.

The Lord is not playing around when He tells us to follow Him and to do His commandments. When we ignore and then challenge the things we know have been instructed to us, we do so at our own peril.

Not only are these men going to die, but their entire households are going to be wiped out from the children of Israel. In other words, their inheritance is gone. There are many scriptures that talk about us as being “houses” or “households”.

The reason being is that the Lord wants us to know this is an all or nothing game. We cannot and will not be caused to ride the fence for very long. We must be either cold or hot for the Lord, but He will not look kindly on human games.

Revelation 3:15  “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot!
Revelation 3:16  So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.
Revelation 3:17  For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.

What happens next is recorded so that we can know what it is when we let our thinking cloud the commandments we know the Lord has given us.

When we chew the cud for too long, by mixing our own carnal reasoning with the commandments the Lord has given us, we are playing a very dangerous game. When we try to reason things out according to the ways of our own hearts, we will be swallowed up “by the earth”, just as these men are.

Anything that remains, will be judged and consumed in fire.

Numbers 16:28  And Moses said, “Hereby you shall know that the LORD has sent me to do all these works, and that it has not been of my own accord.
Numbers 16:29  If these men die as all men die, or if they are visited by the fate of all mankind, then the LORD has not sent me.
Numbers 16:30  But if the LORD creates something new, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into Sheol, then you shall know that these men have despised the LORD.”
Numbers 16:31  And as soon as he had finished speaking all these words, the ground under them split apart.
Numbers 16:32  And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the people who belonged to Korah and all their goods.
Numbers 16:33  So they and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol, and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly.
Numbers 16:34  And all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up!”
Numbers 16:35  And fire came out from the LORD and consumed the 250 men offering the incense.

The message here is loud and clear.

Numbers 16:38  As for the censers of these men who have sinned at the cost of their lives, let them be made into hammered plates as a covering for the altar, for they offered them before the LORD, and they became holy. Thus they shall be a sign to the people of Israel.”
Numbers 16:39  So Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers, which those who were burned had offered, and they were hammered out as a covering for the altar,
Numbers 16:40  to be a reminder to the people of Israel, so that no outsider, who is not of the descendants of Aaron, should draw near to burn incense before the LORD, lest he become like Korah and his company—as the LORD said to him through Moses.

No outsider can do the work the Lord has only given to certain people to do. Does that sound treacherous or inflammatory? Does it sound high and mighty or as if I think of myself more than I should?

If you think that now, then you have missed the point. When we, as the body of Christm have been called to the marriage supper of the Lamb, as the BRIDE OF GOD, we do not SULK at the role the Lord has given us in His body.

We do not complain about the needs the Lord has for us in our lives, in the world and in our individual environments. We are ALL being raised up as kings and priests and our individual lessons are custom made for us individually, so that we can COLLECTIVELY do the work of the Lord.

Oh, how we do not learn our lessons easily! We seem to need lessons to be beat into us instead of spoken softly.

Numbers 16:41  But on the next day all the congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and against Aaron, saying, “You have killed the people of the LORD.”
Numbers 16:42  And when the congregation had assembled against Moses and against Aaron, they turned toward the tent of meeting. And behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD appeared.
Numbers 16:43  And Moses and Aaron came to the front of the tent of meeting,
Numbers 16:44  and the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
Numbers 16:45  “Get away from the midst of this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.” And they fell on their faces.
Numbers 16:46  And Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer, and put fire on it from off the altar and lay incense on it and carry it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them, for wrath has gone out from the LORD; the plague has begun.”
Numbers 16:47  So Aaron took it as Moses said and ran into the midst of the assembly. And behold, the plague had already begun among the people. And he put on the incense and made atonement for the people.
Numbers 16:48  And he stood between the dead and the living, and the plague was stopped.
Numbers 16:49  Now those who died in the plague were 14,700, besides those who died in the affair of Korah.
Numbers 16:50  And Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance of the tent of meeting, when the plague was stopped.

Our jobs in the body of Christ should come with thanksgiving always.

Before we end this study I want to encourage us all to fully understand what we are doing in this life we now live. When I say we have jobs in the body of Christ, I am of course speaking about the direct body of Christ internally, but I am also speaking externally.

My physical body is made up of many parts, yet I myself am seen as “Steven Crook” to the world. My physical body needs to function wholly, so that I can effectively live my life in the world as a productive citizen of my environment.

So, our role in the body of Christ is not only needed for the body of Christ, but it is needed for us to be lights in this world we live in. We are desperately needed by others just the same as we desperately need Jesus Christ, the Light of OUR WORLDS, to shine in us.

When we fully understand this bit of Truth in the core of our being, we will understand that just being a part of the body of Christ is immensely important for others.

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