Associating with the Wicked // Numbers 16:23-35
23. Then the LORD said to Moses,
24. “Say to the assembly, ‘Move away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.’ ”
25. Moses got up and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him.
26. He warned the assembly, “Move back from the tents of these wicked men! Do not touch anything belonging to them, or you will be swept away because of all their sins.”
27. So they moved away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. Dathan and Abiram had come out and were standing with their wives, children and little ones at the entrances to their tents.
28. Then Moses said, “This is how you will know that the LORD has sent me to do all these things and that it was not my idea:
29. If these men die a natural death and experience only what usually happens to men, then the LORD has not sent me.
30. But if the LORD brings about something totally new, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them, with everything that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the grave, then you will know that these men have treated the LORD with contempt.”
31. As soon as he finished saying all this, the ground under them split apart
32. and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them, with their households and all Korah’s men and all their possessions.
33. They went down alive into the grave, with everything they owned; the earth closed over them, and they perished and were gone from the community.
34. At their cries, all the Israelites around them fled, shouting, “The earth is going to swallow us too!”
35. And fire came out from the LORD and consumed the 250 men who were offering the incense.
Associating with Evil (16:23–30)
The rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram has caused division in the camp. Thus, Moses warns the Israelites not to even touch the belongings of these wicked rebels, because God is about to rain down judgment upon them. These rebels are not only opposing Moses and Aaron but also God who has appointed them. Yet even as Moses is attacked, he remains humble. He knows that it is not really him whom these men are opposing; they have “treated the LORD with contempt” (v. 30). Rather than fight with Korah to defend himself, Moses waits for God to judge between them. Likewise, when we come up against those who try to oppose God and cause division in the body of Christ, it is best to leave room for God’s judgment.
Destruction of the Wicked (16:31–35)
Moses has barely finished speaking when God’s judgment comes down. The ground opens up and swallows Dathan, Abiram, their families, and Korah’s household, as well as all their possessions. Then fire comes out from the LORD and consumes Korah and the 250 dissenters who dared stand at the entrance to the tent of meeting and offer incense. Through His judgment, God vindicates Moses and Aaron and confirms their authority and leadership. Interestingly, the sons of Korah are spared (26:10–11), and their descendants continue to work as Levites, as evidenced by several psalms attributed to “the Sons of Korah.”
– Do you complain against your leaders and cause division in your church? Repent and ask God to help you do your best to maintain unity in the body.
– Do you find yourself complaining about the responsibilities you are given at church? God sees your work, and more importantly, your heart. Be faithful in the task He has given you.
A LETTER TO GOD:
Lord, thank you for the unique gifts and responsibilities You have given me. Use my abilities to expand Your kingdom on earth. Thank you for the honor of serving You. Please keep me humble in everything I do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.