I Want to be Somebody!
Sometimes I plod through the book of Numbers. It can be a challenging book to absorb. Then there are days when I can’t stop reading it! Chapter 15 begins a narrative that is interesting but not absorbing; the narrative spills into chapter 16 which takes on more interest. This is not dry listing of laws and census data. Chapter 16 gets exciting!
When God chose Moses as the leader of the Hebrews, Moses was endowed with wisdom that not everyone wanted to follow. Among the Levites, the esteemed family that would carry out Tabernacle duty, jealousy lurked. The Tabernacle duty included the wearing of special attire and had great notice among the rest of the Hebrews, but some of the jobs were mundane and required only strong bodies.
The Kohath family bore the task of transporting the Tabernacle as the families journeyed. The task undoubtedly took organization skills, but by most people, was not a glamourous job. After all, they were Levites, and the Levites were important, right? That’s what Korah thought. I suppose each time they disassembled the Tabernacle and then stopped to assemble it again, his rebellion grew.
The rebellion erupted when he and his restless group of 250 out of about 7,500 (Numbers 3:17-22) protested. I suppose no one looked to them for spiritual advice and they were feeling neglected. I don’t know if their protest was as we think of today with placards and rowdiness, but it did grab the attention of Moses. It grieved him.
After reasoning failed, God intervened with His plan. The end result was disastrous. The earth opened up into what we would call a giant sink hole and swallowed all 250 of them. Done. Gone. Don’t mess with God’s plans. In mercy, God did not destroy Korah’s children. That generation lived on, probably reminded often of their father’s fate. They were gate keepers of the Tabernacle (see Numbers 26:9-11 and I Chronicles 9:19) and later in the permanent Temple built by Solomon.
Psalm 84 is written for the sons of Korah. Verse 10 sums it up: “For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.”
Next time you are asked to do a task at your local assembly of believers, and you don’t want to do a task that no one notices, remember Korah and his protesting mob. There is no unimportant job when it is done with robust energy for the glory of the Lord. Be the sheep that follows the Shepherd.