Friday, May 18, 2012

Korah Rebels Against Moses, Dathan and Abiram Are Swallowed Alive by the Earth

Today's Reading:
  • Numbers 15:17 - 16:40
  • Proverbs 11:5 - 6
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Numbers 15:17 - 16:40
I finally get to read about Korah.  I remember wondering who the descendants of Korah were when I was reading Psalm 42 and Psalm 43.  I knew that these people were being punished, but I did not know why.  Were they being punished because Korah had sinned?  Were they being punished because they had sinned?

I still don't know those answers, but I do know now who Korah was.  Korah was apparently dissatisfied that the Moses and the priests were given consideration from God, when the Lord brought all the people out of Egypt, not just Moses and Aaron.

Korah was a Levite, so he already had special consideration from the Lord, for the Lord set aside the Levites as the people who would serve the priests and care for and move the Tabernacle.  The Levites got to work more closely with Lord than any other person in the camp who was not Moses or a priest.  If I had to guess, I would think that Korah was jealousy, angry and/or upset because they were taking orders from Moses and the priests each and every day. 

Korah gathered 250 people against Moses to challenge his leadership and his divine appointment by the Lord.  Korah conspired with two others -- Dathan and Abiram -- in bringing this rebellion before Moses.  Moses told Korah to bring his 250 to the Tabernacle, to let the Lord decide who was holy enough to be in his presence.

The Lord was angry and was going to immediately smite everyone, but once Moses and Aaron intervened and asked the Lord only to destroy the ones who had sinned.  The other two conspirators to Korah -- Dathan and Abiram -- were literally swallowed up by the earth, along with their wives, their children, their households, their belongings and their tents.  The ground opened up, swallowed them, and closed again.  Then Korah and his 250 were killed in a fire that was blazed by the Lord. That must have been a scene of utter chaos.  I can't imagine the terror that must have jolted throughout the encampment as the ground literally swallowed people while others were killed instantly in fire. 

I still don't know the answer to my question about the descendants of Korah.  The reason I don't know is because it does not say what happened to the descendants of Korah within the passage that I read.  As far as I know, all the descendants of Dathan and Abiram were swallowed up by the ground, but Korah was standing among the 250 burned in the fire.  It doesn't say that his family or his home were swallowed.  And obviously Korah would have had surviving descendants somewhere, since there are psalms written by/about those descendants.

Perhaps the descendants were cursed for what Korah did, or perhaps the descendants continued to blatantly oppose the Lord themselves.  Once I find out, I'm sure I will write about it!

Proverbs 11:5 - 6
The godly are directly by honesty; the wicked fall beneath their load of sin.
6  The godliness of good people rescues them, the ambition of treacherous people traps them.
 This is just more assurance that those who are godly people will eventually be rescued from their burdens.  The wicked will continue to sin, they will continue to do harm to others.  But they will eventually fall, be it in this life or after death. 

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