How quickly we forget lessons learned to fall and make the same mistakes again.
One Word –
But on the next day all the congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and against Aaron, saying, “You have killed the people of the LORD.” Numbers 16:41
Daily Bible Reading: Numbers 16, 17, 18; Luke 24
Big Idea –
The people are accusing Moses of murder; that he is responsible for the death of Korah and those who rebelled with him. Less than twenty-four hours have passed since Moses said, “If these men die as all men die, or if they are visited by the fate of all mankind, then the LORD has not sent me. But if the LORD creates something new, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into Sheol, then you shall know that these men have despised the LORD.”“ (vv. 29-30).
This is a pretty bold statement for Moses to make, but what happened next showed these were not merely the words of a man. No sooner had Moses finished speaking, the ground opened under Korah and all those standing with him; they all went into the grave alive. Moses did not speak his own mind; he spoke the word of the LORD.
But rebellion against the LORD is contagious. Korah’s criticism was not just spoken against Moses; his death showed that he “despised the LORD.” The infection of Korah’s words remained within the hearts of many in the camp. As the sun rose people again began to complaining against Moses and Aaron. Even though they had witnessed God’s judgment against Korah and his rebellious friends as well as the LORD’S affirmation of Moses, they took up Korah’s complaint.
The previous day these people had fled in fear that the earth would swallow them up as well. But on this day they had forgotten the lessons taught the day before. Even as they could look and see the place where the earth had opened its mouth to take Korah to the grave, these stiff-necked people stood yet again in opposition against Moses, which was actually again unknowingly against God. We should not be surprised that the LORD’S judgment was equal to that of Korah’s. A plague took the lives of 14,700 people that day, and more would have died had it not been for the intercession of Moses and Aaron.
Paul told us that “these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction,” (1 Cor. 10:11). Do we really think we are that different from those the LORD had delivered by His outstretched arm from their bondage in Egypt. They witnessed God’s power to save; we have only heard what God has done for us. If we live according to the flesh rather than the Spirit, the infection of criticism and rebellion is still just as infectious and deadly. Let’s be careful that we don’t unwittingly take a stand against the LORD by the words we speak.
I must discern with the help of the Holy Spirit if my criticism of others would be words spoken like Moses’ intercession or like Korah’s rebellion against the LORD.
Yes to Yield –
LORD Jesus, I thank You that Your Holy Spirit lives within us; empower me to live according to the Spirit and not the flesh. How quickly I can forget the lessons You have taught and give place to having a critical spirit of judgment rather than a heart of intercession. Help me to guard my words so I might only speak the truth with love.