Korah lead a rebellion in the beginning of Numbers 16. The Lord punished him and his family and those who also led the rebellion. They were swallowed up by the earth in a sign that could only be of the Lord. It was public and visible. One would assume then that the rest of the people who had been spared would be humble and repent before the Lord for their rebellion against Him. They did not. Instead they grumbled and complained, again jealous and blaming Moses and Aaron and never looking inward to judge the hardness of their own hearts in a way that could lead to repentance.
While it seems quite amazing, if you think about it in the lives of people around you every day, even those who say they believe and follow Jesus, you will see it is quite common. People have a tendency to excuse or overlook their sin and rebellion to God and blame others when things do not work out how they like. They do not internalize this issue of rebellion as originating with them… as their fault.
What an amazing response by Moses and Aaron… rather than just stand there and let God wipe out the rebellious people, they spring to action and make an intercessory offering and prayer on behalf of the sinful people. Though the people did not repent, the intercessory prayers of the righteous were enough for God to spare the people further destruction. What a great example of how we as God’s people should respond to those who struggle in their relationship with the Lord. Let us not be vengeful, but rather gracious in seeking to pray on their behalf before the Lord.
Murmuring and Plague
41But on the next day all the congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron, saying, “You are the ones who have caused the death of the LORD’S people.” 42It came about, however, when the congregation had assembled against Moses and Aaron, that they turned toward the tent of meeting, and behold, the cloud covered it and the glory of the LORD appeared. 43Then Moses and Aaron came to the front of the tent of meeting, 44and the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 45“Get away from among this congregation, that I may consume them instantly.” Then they fell on their faces. 46Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer and put in it fire from the altar, and lay incense on it; then bring it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them, for wrath has gone forth from the LORD, the plague has begun!” 47Then Aaron took it as Moses had spoken, and ran into the midst of the assembly, for behold, the plague had begun among the people. So he put on the incense and made atonement for the people. 48He took his stand between the dead and the living, so that the plague was checked. 49But those who died by the plague were 14,700, besides those who died on account of Korah. 50Then Aaron returned to Moses at the doorway of the tent of meeting, for the plague had been checked.
When God calls you to repent, do not choose to complain instead. Take care not to be like those who sin and then grumble, always blaming the righteous for what goes wrong and never internalizing your own sin and relationship with the Lord.
Look also for the opportunity to pray for others, even those who would do you harm or say bad things to and about you. What a way to be a light to the world!
Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.