By: Ely Lagajino
“Ah, stubborn children,” declares the Lord, “who carry out a plan, but not mine, and who make an alliance, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin; Isaiah 30:1 (ESV)
The judgment on the rebellious spies stops the murmuring and disobedience among the survivors, yet, defiance still fill their hearts. They fear God at first but they are not sorry.
Korah, a Levite, an influential man with ability working in the service of the tabernacle, aspires to be the high priest, a position held by Aaron. Jealousy and dissatisfaction leads him to form a secret alliance to overthrow Moses and Aaron’s civil and religious authority.
He recruits the tribe of Reuben that has valid reason to rebel. Being descendants of the firstborn son of Jacob entitles them to birth right privileges. But Jacob gave the blessing to Judah and Joseph because of Reuben’s weaknesses.
Dathan and Abiram from the tribe of Reuben join the movement. Another 250 ambitious princes from other tribes are added. Later they gain more sympathizers. They plan to make drastic changes in their government and religious affairs. When the movement gains popular support from the people, they reveal themselves.
Korah appears in public accusing Moses and Aaron as tyrant leaders, assuming that Korah and company are equally entitled to the leadership. Also, they accuse them of depriving the liberty and independence of the people. They also blame Moses for changing their route back in desert causing them to die in the wilderness so that Moses can take over all their precious gold.
The rebels declare that they will no longer follow their authority. Moses does not make any effort to vindicate himself, but he appeals to God to judge whether the order he gave to the Israelites came from the Lord or from his own bearing.
We recall the incident that the great “I AM THAT I AM” (Exodus 3:13), who is Jesus Christ, (John 8:28) called Moses at mount Horeb. Moses wanted to stay as a peaceful shepherd in Midian with his family. But when God commissioned him to lead Israel out of Egypt, he obeyed and sacrificed his own personal convenience in life.
PP P.429-435 Numbers 16 and 17