In my last post I shared a story from the Book of Numbers about Korah and other Levite men who sought to overthrow Aaron and his sons as priests. If you have not read that post yet, you can click here.
Today I will continue in chapter 16 of that same book to share on the 2nd story within that chapter. There were some other men aside from Korah and the 250 men who God dealt with from the 1st story. These were Dathan and Abiram – the sons of Eliab. It is not specified what these men wanted in particular, but it does seem to me that they strongly disliked Moses:
And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and they said, “We will not come up. Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, that you must also make yourself a prince over us? Moreover, you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us inheritance of fields and vineyards. Will you put out the eyes of these men? We will not come up.” And Moses was very angry and said to the Lord, “Do not respect their offering. I have not taken one donkey from them, and I have not harmed one of them.”
Numbers 16:12-15 ESV
Ruuuude!!! Why would someone disrespect Moses like that? MOSES! It’s appalling to me. And as if to add insult to injury, all of this was happening in the same day. So while Korah and the others were presenting their censers before the altar (see my previous post), he was also dealing with Dathan and Abiram. And it’s pretty clear that things were not gonna go well (for the opposers).
God commanded Moses to tell the other Israelites to physically get away from the dwellings (tents) of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. Thus began showdown #2!
Dathan and Abiram emerged from their tents along with their families (wives and children) in the midst of the melee. They stood at the door of their tents while Moses addressed the congregation:
And Moses said, “Hereby you shall know that the Lord has sent me to do all these works, and that it has not been of my own accord. 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.”
Numbers 16:28-30 ESV
The amazing thing about this part is that it does not say that God told Moses to say this. Yet in verse 31 we see that as soon as Moses had finished speaking, the earth opened up and swallowed all of their tents, their belongings and their families! Every person within those households went down to Sheol ALIVE!!!!! Just as Moses had said. Talk about vindication! It was clear that God had chosen and sent Moses on the assignment that he was on, and the Israelites were not to question it.
Right here, I would have loved to end off this post by saying that the Israelites never questioned Moses’ authority again and they all lived happily ever after………but we all know that is not true right?!
But you know what is even crazier?!
The fact that today, many of us do the same thing!
- We question God’s methods and the ways that He chooses to operate/do things in our lives,
- We question His timing,
- And sometimes we even question the messenger that He uses to bring across His message to us.
Think about it.
Have you ever gotten mad at a friend for telling you the truth? Or perhaps it was your husband/wife? Or one of your kids? Or the homeless person on the street? God can use ANYBODY to minister to us. It is not limited to who we think it should come from. Israel was struggling to accept this particular lesson.
Honor whomever God sent to you or is using in your life. Hopefully we can all learn from this biblical example before we face a similar fate.