55 - “Isn’t It Enough?”
February 24 - Nº 55 Leviticus 3:5-10; 4:1-33; Numbers 16-17
God told Moses to divide the Levites into three groups based on their relationship to Levi’s three sons—Gershon, Kohath and Merari. They were given separate responsibilities, especially for when it was time to move the Israelite camp. The descendants of Kohath were given the most important responsibilities. They were the only ones who could move the “most holy” things, including the Ark of the Covenant, the table for the showbread, the lampstand, and the altar where the priest burned incense. (BTW Moses and Aaron were also Kohathites.) The descendants of Gershon oversaw packing up and carrying the curtains and coverings of the Tabernacle, while the Merarites were responsible for the framework. But just because the Levites were “set apart” to be the spiritual leaders of Israel, did not mean they were immune from sinning. Korah (a Kohathite descendant) and three of his friends became disgruntled. They led a group of 250 prominent men to challenge the leadership of Moses and Aaron. “You have taken your authority too far,” they insisted. “We are all holy. What right do you have to set yourselves up as our leaders?” Moses realized that Korah was jealous of Aaron’s position. “Isn’t it enough,” Moses challenged him, “that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the tribes of Israel and asked you to do some of the most important work in His Tabernacle? Do you want the job of the priesthood, too?” Moses asked two of the leaders of the rebellion to meet separately with him, but they refused. So he set up a challenge. “We will let the Lord show us who He wants to be the High Priest,” he declared. The next day those 250 leaders, along with Korah and Aaron, stood before the Lord in front of the Tabernacle. Each of them held a censer filled with incense and burning coals just as Moses had instructed them. All the Israelites watched as the glory of the Lord appeared. Then God spoke to Moses and Aaron and told them to separate themselves so that He could destroy everyone else. Moses begged God not to punish everyone for the sin of just a few wicked people. Suddenly the earth opened and swallowed Korah and the two leaders who had refused to talk to Moses—as well as their families who were standing with them. Then fire came down and killed the 250 men who were holding the censers. Even after this tragic punishment had taken place, the very next day the whole community began to grumble and speak badly about Moses and Aaron. They accused them of being responsible for the deaths of their leaders. This made God angry, and He sent a plague. Moses told Aaron to quickly get his censer. Aaron filled it with incense and “holy” fire from the altar and ran among the people begging God to forgive them. Once again, God listened. He stopped the plague, but 14,700 rebellious people had already died!
Are you sometimes jealous of what God has allowed someone else to do or to have? God doesn’t make mistakes. He places each of us in exactly the right place, with exactly the right things, to accomplish exactly what is best! Wanting something more is pretending to be wiser than God. It always leads to sorrow.