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Numbers 16:1-4

The Leadership Challenged

1 Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men: 2 And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown: 3 And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD? 4 And when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face:


The beginning of a sad ending for these men and their families is told here. It portrays a problem that many of our contemporary pastors are called to confront far too frequently. So, the story of spiritual rebellion is not a new one. It has been repeated over and over throughout the history of the church.

The tragic story begins within the hearts of three wicked men, Korah, Dathan and Abiram, who were among the people of Israel. These three had an uncontrollable lust for power and went through the congregation preaching rebellion to the men. "They took men and they rose up before Moses and against Aaron." There was no possible way for them to not know that Moses and Aaron were chosen by God to lead the nation. Nevertheless, they gathered together a small army of men, two hundred and fifty men of renown, to confront their leaders. This was a sin against God and not against Moses and Aaron.

The insolence and pride of Korah, Dathan and Abiram is glaringly obvious. Their claim was that the whole congregation was holy, not just Moses and Aaron. Of course, they considered themselves to be among the holiest of them all and fully qualified to lead a rebellion against God's chosen. Feeling emboldened by their supporters, they arrogantly got up in Moses' face, asking, "Who are you to elevate yourself as Israel's leader?"

Wicked men will always attack God's anointed leaders in much the same way. In order to exalt themselves, they must first destroy the esteem of those who are above them. The challenge to Moses and Aaron was nothing more than an attempt to make them look bad before the rest of the congregation. Men such as these were warned by Jesus who said, "And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. (Matthew 23:12)

This is always a difficult situation with which pastors are often forced to deal. Many times they fail, allowing their own pride and arrogance to control the confrontation. Moses has set the example for us, however. Understanding the seriousness of those men's actions, he fell on his face. He publicly confronted pride, arrogance and rebellion with humility and submission.

Prayer is the perfect solution to every confrontation in our lives, whether it is similar to what Aaron and Moses experienced or something entirely different. Prayer quiets the heart and allows us to think more clearly in the face of our struggles. The quiet heart is much better equipped to hear what God is saying to us. The humble spirit of the one praying is more likely to trust God to solve the problem than to try and solve it himself.

Before The Throne:

Pray for the troublemakers in your church, for those who want to control everything or to rebel against your pastor. Ask the Lord to help you be a peace maker. Pray that your pastor would have the wisdom to immerse himself in prayer before confronting those who are prideful, arrogant and self-exalting.

For Further Study

(v.1)
** Korah. Num 26:9-10; Num 27:3; Exod 6:18, 21; Jude 1:11; ** sons of Reuben. Gen 49:3-4; 1Chr 5:1-2;

(v.2) ** famous. Num 26:9; Gen 6:4; 1Chr 5:24; 1Chr 12:30; Ezek 16:14; Ezek 23:10;

(v.3) ** gathered. Num 16:11; Num 12:1-2; Num 14:1-4; Ps 106:16; Acts 7:39,51; ** all the. Exod 19:6; Ezra 9:2; Isa 1:11-16; Jer 7:3-12; Matt 3:9-10; Rom 2:28-29; ** the Lord. Num 14:14; Num 35:34; Exod 29:45-46; Ps 68:17;

(v.4) ** Num 16:45; Num 14:5; Num 20:6; Josh 7:6;

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