Today’s Reading: Numbers 16-18
Today’s Reflection: Numbers 16:3-5
3) They assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! For all in the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?” 4) When Moses heard it, he fell on his face, 5) and he said to Korah and all his company, “In the morning the LORD will show who is his, and who is holy, and will bring him near to him. The one whom he chooses he will bring near to him.
The Christian church has an interesting persecution complex, interesting because even though the perceived threat is from outside oftentimes the worst threats came from other so-called believers. During the Spanish Inquisition the Catholic Church tortured and killed thousands of protesting (or Protestant) Christians. In our day some of the most popular Evangelical ministers (especially those on TV) are constantly being derided and denounced by other Christians, whether they be rival leaders or even members of their own congregations.
Through the example of the Kohathite rebellion against Moses and Aaron, God has given guidance to leaders on how to handle challenges that rise against them from within the church or body of believers:
1) Don’t respond in kind. Korah, the leader of the rebellion, made stinging charges against Moses and Aaron, accusing them of pride, arrogance and a lack of character. Most importantly Korah challenged Moses and Aaron’s anointing from God. When attacked like this its easy to strike back, and I’m certain Moses could have dug up some dirt to sling back at Korah. But he didn’t. Those of us who are in leadership roles shouldn’t either.
2) Go to God. In verse 4 Moses falls on his face. Was he embarrassed? Was he worshipping Korah? Or begging Korah’s mercy? No on all counts. He was praying to God. And Moses got up having heard from God and knowing exactly how to respond to Korah. Our first move when attacked should be to go back to the source: our God. It could well be that what we perceive as an attack is actually a legitimate rebuke God has allowed for our benefit. Or it could be completely unjust (as it tragically turned out to be in Korah’s case). Either way God will reveal the truth and show us how to respond. And taking the time to pray will help ensure we don’t snap back in anger.
3) Let God be judge. Moses recognized that only God can verify what or who He has ordained and He was confident enough to allow God to decide between him and Korah before Israel. We too ought to be confident in God’s judgment on our behalf. Now God may not be as direct in resolving our conflicts as He was in Moses and Korah’s (Numbers 16:28-33). But God has given us instruction in His word on how to recognize those who are in agreement with Him (Isaiah 8:20; John 13:34-35), those who are qualified to lead (1 Timothy 3:1-13), and those who are neither (Matthew 6:1-8; Matthew 15:7-9; Galatians 5:19-21; James 4:4).