Every time I read Numbers 16, The Rebellion of Korah, I am amazed at how Moses stood between the Lord and the people and interceded for their lives. As servants of the Lord, I feel we must do the same.
About 15,000 people lost their lives in a rebellion fermented by Korah who was a grandson of Levi, and his cohorts Dathan and Abiram. These men incited the rest of the people to rebel against Moses and Aaron. They were jealous and accused Moses and Aaron of exalting themselves above the people.
When Moses first heard these accusations, he fell on his face. The bible tells us Moses was the meekest man on the earth and he demonstrates that here. Then, Moses tried to reason with the Levites saying they had already been chosen to minister in the tabernacle and therefor were already set apart from the rest of people and why were they seeking the priesthood? There were 250 chiefs in league against Moses and Aaron. Moses spoke to Korah, sent for Dathan and Abiram, but they refused to come. They accused Moses of taking them from a land of milk and honey (Egypt) and not leading them into another land of milk and honey. They asked if Moses would set himself up as a prince over them and then put out their eyes. Sound familiar?
Moses got very angry. He told them to come before the tabernacle on the next day with their censors filled with incense to burn before the Lord and Aaron would fill his censor so the Lord could choose whom he would. When they did gather the next day, the Lord told Moses to separate themselves from the people so that he may consume them in a moment! Again Moses fell on his face and pleaded for the people and the Lord told them to separate themselves from around the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. Moses rose up and went to their tents and told the people to stand back and not touch anything that belonged to these men or they too would be swept away.
Moses declares what will happen and as he finishes speaking, the Lord causes the earth to open up beneath the tents of these three families and all their possessions and the men, women and children of these families and then closed up over them! There were gone in the blink of an eye! Then, the Lord sent a fire out and consumed the other 250 men who had rebelled and offered incense. All the leaders of rebellion were gone!
The next day, the people rose up and murmured against Moses and Aaron – complaining they had killed the people of the Lord. Again, the Lord told Moses to separate themselves from the people so he could destroy them in a moment. And, once again Moses fell on his face to intercede for the people. He sent Aaron with a censor of incense and coals from the altar into the people to go among them and make atonement for them as the plaque had already begun to strike them down.
Numbers 16:48 And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed. 49 Now they that died in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, beside them that died about the matter of Korah. 50 And Aaron returned unto Moses unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the plague was stayed.
Moses and Aaron stood between the dead and the living and the plaque was stopped!
Can you imagine this? Every time I read it, I am amazed at how fast the Lord reacted and the severity of his reaction to rebellion. God hates rebellion and he despises murmuring.
1 Samuel 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
I think we would do well to remember this even today. Moses was able to save a few – but Jesus saved all who believe that he is who he says he is! Our God is a consuming fire and we need to remember that. But, he is also merciful and full of grace. We too can stand between the dead and the living, and need to do so until we are called home. Our country needs this now more than ever. As a people, we are so divided and so many are dead set against the new President Elect, Donald Trump. I think they should take a step back and look at the circumstances. Does God occupy himself with the affairs of men? I believe he does! And, I believe this election proves he answers prayer and has given our country another opportunity to do the right thing. So, lets pray for our brothers and sisters who are so broken hearted over the election, that God will soften their hearts and open their eyes to see the truth. Pray for healing, constraint and that kindness and generosity will prevail during this season.
Father, we adore you! We are astounded and amazed at your power and majesty! We fear you Lord and are in awe of everything you have done and will do for we know you will have your way! Your Word will not return to you void but will accomplish all you sent it to do, and we thank you and praise you for that too. Father, please heal our land and her people! Our nation is in dire straits – but we know you have a plan and it is a plan for good. Please help our people to give the new president elect a chance and to give our country a chance to heal. Please heal all the rifts among us and restore us one to another in love and harmony as one people, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all! We thank you for not giving us what we deserve but rather giving us hope and courage to stand and take back the ground we have lost over the last several decades. God bless America in Jesus’ mighty matchless name! Amen!