Now Korah…Dathan and Abiram…took men; and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown. Numbers 16:1-2
The Byproduct of Pride
Korah’s rebellion was fueled by jealousy; pure and simple. Korah, Moses, and Aaron were in fact cousins and Korah was likely sick and tired of watching Moses and Aaron (seemingly) getting all the glory. Korah’s biggest mistake was failing to remember that God had given these two men their authority and only He could remove it. The reality was that Korah brought his affliction (spiritual blindness) upon himself. Pride has a way of doing that and it something I can unquestionably identify with.
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. Romans 13:1-2
I have always made the assertion that in Christ Jesus there are no coincidences and therefore confess that it is no accident that this Bible study crossed my path today. I must acknowledge that the Lord has revealed [to me] that I need to reevaluate how it is I voice my opposition to those in authority over me, lest like Korah I be swallowed-up in a worldly pit. The remedy for self-destructive behavior, thank you Jesus, lies in His word.
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:8
The Numbers passage reminds us that first and foremost we need to examine the motives for our oppositional behavior; in other words, we need to know what’s percolating deep within our hearts. The problem is that this is a task we cannot do outside of ourselves; we need God to do both the searching and the revealing. Moses understood this. Despite the fact that cousin Korah’s rebellion angered him, Moses fell on his face before the Lord and sought His supervision rather than rely upon his own.
The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind… Jeremiah 17:9-10
Having secured a Godly account of the heart, we then need to examine those things which encompass our grievances. Our Father has prescribed that the best method is to engage the counsel of like-minded, Christian men. The fact that we often lack eagerness to take this step strongly suggests that our objections are without weight. Far too many times we seek those we know will agree with our position; a trap of an unexplored heart.
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7a
One cannot help but think of the Apostle Paul (when he was just Saul) and how he zealously persecuted the church in God’s name. Without any doubt this man thought he was doing the right thing, but it was not until the Lord restored his spiritual sight that he saw the horrendous error of his way.
Matthew 18:15-20 provides for us an excellent prescription regarding the airing of grievances and I would suggest that we devour that text enthusiastically. However, before tackling that instruction, it’s vital that we absorb the doctrine in these two passages.
For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. Romans 12:3
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8
There is really little need to expound on that text, except to say we need to soak in these God-given conclusions until they ooze from our souls; then and only then should we give voice to our grievances. Oh to God that I might remember these things.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Colossians 3:16