Numbers 16

Some thoughts for meditation following our daily devotional Scripture reading that is provided each week.

Korah and 250 other Israelites accused Moses and Aaron of wrongly restricting the priesthood to themselves. Korah and co. believed any and every Israelite could serve as priests because they were all holy and God was among them without distinction.

Moses said that God chose who would be priests and they were thus discontent and rebelling against God. To that end they all were to bring incense in their censers and God would make clear whom he chose.

God judged Korah, Dathan, and Abiram by causing the earth to open so that they and everything of theirs fell alive into hell. God also caused fire to burn up the 250 other offenders. Their censers were made into a covering for the altar, a perpetual reminder that only Aaron and his descendants were to serve as priests. God indisputably and publicly made his choice.

Sadly, this did not convince the rest of Israel, for the very next day they blamed Moses and Aaron for killing “The people of the Lord.” They rushed toward the tabernacle, presumably to carry out the work Korah initiated, that any and every Israelite could be a priest. Immediately the tabernacle was covered by the Lord’s cloud, a plague broke out against the offenders, and 14,700 died before Aaron atoned for them on the altar.

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