devotions from Jefferson Vann # 2317
Num 16:25 Then Moses got up and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him.
Num 16:26 And he spoke to the congregation, and this is what he said, “Get away, please, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing that belongs to them, or else you will be swept away with all their sins.”
Num 16:27 So they got away from the staying of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. And Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the door of their tents, together with their wives, their sons, and their little ones.
Num 16:28 And Moses said, “Hereby you will know that Yahveh has sent me to do all these works, and that it has not been of my own accord.
Num 16:29 If these men die as all men die, or if they are visited by the fate of all mankind, then Yahveh has not sent me.
Num 16:30 But if Yahveh 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 will know that these men have despised Yahveh.”
Num 16:31 And as soon as he had finished speaking all these words, the ground under them split apart.
Num 16:32 And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the people who belonged to Korah and all their belongings.
Num 16:33 So they and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol, and the earth closed over them, and they were destroyed from the midst of the collected assembly.
Num 16:34 And all Israel who were around them ran away at their cry, because they said, “Or else the earth will swallow us up!”
Num 16:35 And fire came out from Yahveh and consumed the 250 men offering the incense.
Num 16:36 Then Yahveh spoke to Moses, and this is what he said,
Num 16:37 “Tell Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest to take up the censers out of the blaze. Then scatter the fire far and wide, because they have become holy.
Num 16:38 As for the censers of these men who have sinned at the cost of their souls, let them be made into hammered plates as a covering for the altar, because they offered them in the sight of Yahveh, and they became holy. Thus they will be a sign to the people of Israel.”
Num 16:39 So Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers, which those who were burned had offered, and they were hammered out as a covering for the altar,
Num 16:40 to be a reminder to the people of Israel, so that no outsider, who is not of the descendants of Aaron, should draw near to burn incense in the sight of Yahveh, or else he will become like Korah and his company– as Yahveh said to him through Moses.
Num 16:41 But on the next day all the congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and against Aaron, and this is what he said “You have killed the people of Yahveh.”
Num 16:42 And when the congregation had collected against Moses and against Aaron, they turned toward the conference tent. And notice, the cloud covered it, and the impressive appearance of Yahveh appeared.
Num 16:43 And Moses and Aaron came to the front of the conference tent,
Num 16:44 and Yahveh spoke to Moses, and this is what he said
Num 16:45 “Get away from the midst of this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.” And they fell on their faces.
Num 16:46 And Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer, and put fire on it from off the altar and lay incense on it and carry it quickly to the congregation and provide reconciliation for them, because wrath has gone out from Yahveh; the plague has begun.”
Num 16:47 So Aaron took it as Moses said and ran into the midst of the collected assembly. And notice, the plague had already begun among the people. And he put on the incense and made atonement for the people.
Num 16:48 And he stood between the dead and the living, and the plague was stopped.
Num 16:49 Now those who died in the plague were 14,700, besides those who died in the affair of Korah.
Num 16:50 And Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance of the conference tent, when the plague was stopped.
Those rebellious pretenders spread their dangerous discontent about Moses and Aaron were swallowed up by the ground. The would-be priests who were self appointed were struck down by fire from the sky. Even as we read these things, our minds have difficulty conceiving of them. But the hardest to believe is what is recorded in verse 41. How can the community continue to complain? Where is their fear of God? Without the courageous intervention of Moses and Aaron, the whole community would have died of the plague.
FATHER GOD, give us the wisdom to learn from the mistakes of those people — to fear you and follow you, because you are holy, and your will is supreme.