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Numbers 16:5-7

God Knows His Own

5 And he spake unto Korah and unto all his company, saying, Even to morrow the LORD will shew who are his, and who is holy; and will cause him to come near unto him: even him whom he hath chosen will he cause to come near unto him. 6 This do; Take you censers, Korah, and all his company; 7 And put fire therein, and put incense in them before the LORD to morrow: and it shall be that the man whom the LORD doth choose, he shall be holy: ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi.


Korah, Dathan and Abiram had challenged the authority of Moses and the priesthood of Aaron. They had assembled two hundred and fifty men of renown to support them in their mutiny. Their assertion was that all the people of Israel were holy and there was no reason why only Moses, Aaron and Aaron's sons should hold all of the secular and religious authority.

After falling on his face before the Lord (There is no reason to suppose that he did this before the people but more than likely in the privacy of the tabernacle), Moses came before Korah and his followers with this proposal, which we can assume was told to him by the Lord. They should all come to the tabernacle the next day with their censers filled with burning incense and present themselves before the Lord. God knows who are His and would clearly show them who was holy.

Paul quoted from this passage when writing to his disciple, Timothy. "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." (2 Timothy 2:19) That God knows His own people is a seal of assurance for His people everywhere and in all ages.

Moses gave the insolent mob until the following day so that they could reconsider his offer. Approaching the Lord in such a way as he had proposed was very dangerous. "And Nadab and Abihu died before the LORD, when they offered strange fire before the LORD, in the wilderness of Sinai,.." Everyone of Korah's followers were well aware of what had happened to Nadab and Abihu.

Nevertheless, if they still wanted to test the authority of Moses and Aaron, they could come to the tabernacle on the morrow, and the Lord would choose the man or men who should be holy before Him.

Those who would rebel against God's chosen leaders should consider what Samuel had said to Saul, "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king." (1 Samuel 15:23) There is no one in our churches who does not know that God despises witchcraft and idolatry, so let them be aware that rebellion is equally abominable to Him.

Still, there will always be those who resent spiritual authority. Jude warned those to whom he wrote his epistle, saying, "I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not... 8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities." (Jude 1:5, 8 )

Moses' warned Korah and his followers with their own words from verse 3, "...ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi." They did not know what their rebellion would cost them.

Before The Throne:

Continue to pray for those who have a rebellious spirit in your church. Pray that your pastor would seek the wisdom and guidance of God when confronted with such people. Pray for peace and unity to be the cement that holds your church together.

For Further Study:

(v.5)
** the Lord. Mal 3:18; 2Tim 2:19; ** who is holy. Num 16:3; Lev 21:6-8, 21:12-15; Isa 61:5-6; 1Pet 2:5-9; Rev 1:6; Rev 5:9-10; ** will cause. Exod 28:43; Lev 10:3; Ps 65:4; Ezek 40:46; Ezek 44:15-16; Eph 2:13; Heb 10:19-22; Heb 12:14; ** even him. Num 17:5; Exod 28:1; Lev 8:2; 1Sam 2:28; Ps 105:26; John 15:16; Acts 1:2, 24; Acts 13:2; Acts 15:7; Acts 22:14; 2Tim 2:3-4;

(v.6) ** Num 16:35-40, 46-48; Lev 10:1; Lev 16:12-13; 1Kgs 18:21-23;

(v.7) ** that the man. Eph 1:4; 2Thess 2:13; 1Pet 2:9; ** too much. Num 16:3; 1Kgs 18:17-18; Matt 21:23-27;

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