Life of Moses Lesson 21 Day 3

Numbers 16:1-22

4.  a.  Korah’s rebellion against Moses and Aaron Numbers 16:3 NLT

  • You have gone too far!
  • The whole community of Israel has been set apart by the Lord, and he is with all of us.
  • What right do you have to act as though you are greater than the rest of the Lord’s people?

b.  Korah conspired with three other men.

Together they incited a rebellion along with 250 other prominent community leaders.

Conspired—To plan together secretly to commit an illegal or wrongful act or accomplish a legal purpose through illegal action.

Incited—To induce activity of any kind, although it often refers to violent or uncontrolled behavior: incited to greater effort; incited to rebellion.

The third charge is similar to Miriam’s complaint against Moses. Before the confrontation, there were undoubtedly rumblings among them. Lots of grumbling and discussion of what was wrong, why it was wrong, and who was at fault; Questioning Moses and Aaron’s decisions and leadership.

Surely being doomed to live the rest of their lives in the wilderness did not sit well.

c.  Yes, I have seen this type of behavior in a group.—

That’s an understatement if there ever was one.

  • I was a member of four churches that split.
  • The first one, my dad was the church music and youth pastor. The pastor never trusted anyone after that.
  • The second one, the pastor’s wife ran off with a doctor, and the pastor moved across country to live with his girlfriend.
  • The third one, the denomination’s board harassed our pastor about our non-traditional worship music and dance. They owned the church’s land and eventually forced him to resign.
  • I was a member of two churches that closed their doors. One of them was church number two.
  • Mad Church Disease pretty much sums up my experience with church organizations. I also included some excerpts from the book in this post from 2010.

5.  a.  Character traits—

Korah—A Levite and a gatekeeper

  • Intelligent
  • Arrogant
  • Stiff-necked — proud, stubborn, legalistic
  • Self-promoting
  • Jealous
  • Lust for power
  • Disregard for God’s plan
  • Ambitious
  • Well-liked
  • Discontented with his ministry position
  • Respected by his family
  • Defiant
  • Unrepentant
  • Enticed others
  • Divisive

Dathan and Abiram—The sons of Korah—Also Levites

  • Respected their father
  • Followed their father
  • Assisted their father in his conspiracy
  • Probably shared many of their father’s characteristics
  • Discontented with their positions and status
  • Disrespectful and disobedient (They refused to come when Moses called them.)
  • Cowards (They sent a scathing message to Moses rather than deliver it in person.)


  • Exemplary leader
  • Humble
  • Submitted to God
  • Obedient to God
  • Fear of God
  • Persevered through opposition and adversity
  • Willing to delegate authority to others
  • Mediator
  • Intercessor

b.  Character traits God sees in my life

  • Reluctant to lead
  • Kingdom seeker
  • Distaste for arrogance in others
  • Spurred toward spiritual growth by the spirituality and relationship with God I see in others rather than charisma and leadership position.
  • When I was younger, I had more desire to be known and respected within a church organization. After experiencing repeated spiritual abuse, nastiness, politics, etc. I sadly developed a disdain for all its trappings. BSF feels like a safe place.

6.  a.  In this case, Korah and company revolted against the Lord. Numbers 16:11

In general, grumbling and complaining is the wrong route. Romans 16:17 instructs us to “Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them.”

Korah was a false prophet. Jude 1:10-12 God called Korah and his sons wicked men. Numbers 16:26

But what if people’s “faith” is awry? And they don’t realize it or admit it?

Division and dissension gave birth to Christianity.  Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’ Matthew 10:34

While on earth, Jesus often contended with the Pharisees about their traditions. Mark 7:1-9 

Jesus called the scribes and Pharisees hypocrites and whitewashed tombs (Matthew 23:27).  He was angry with them because of their pride. They greatly embellished the law given to Moses. They cheated widows out of their houses. (Mark 12:40)

There is no doubt, God called Moses to lead Israel from captivity into the Promised Land.

There is also no doubt, Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.

There is no doubt Paul’s epistles are correct.

And what about Martin Luther who led the Reformation? His criticism of the current (1517) doctrines and practices caused a schism within Western Christianity.

The church as an institution and it’s leadership are prone to water down, pervert, create traditions and forms of godliness, control, abuse, and make the gospel powerless.

We are also prone to follow false prophets. In 1 John 1:4, the Apostle John wrote, “Beloved, do not put faith in every spirit, but prove (test) the spirits to discover whether they proceed from God; for many false prophets have gone forth into the world.”

I’m not condoning or suggesting anything. I’m just saying, a tax-exempt status and calling something a ministry, doesn’t mean God is in it.

What, if anything, we do about it, must be directed by God. 

The main reason we study the Bible is to learn for ourselves if the things we hear and see are true.

And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. Acts 17:11 NLT

b.  Moses’ responses to Korah’s rebellion—

Numbers 16:4—When Moses first heard about it, he fell on his face.

Numbers 16:8-11—Rather than defend himself, Moses points to the great honor God gave by separating them to Himself, to serve Him and minister to the congregation.

Numbers 16:12-15—When Dathan and Abiram refused to come when Moses called them, Moses got angry. Rather than confront them or banish them, he asked God not to respect their offering, because he was innocent of any misdeed. He had not accepted a bribe or harmed them.

Numbers 16:21-22—When God wanted to consume the entire congregation, Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before God and asked Him not to be angry at everyone because of one man’s sin.


Photo Credit Dakota  via Lightstock