The Story Of Korah In The Bible

I am thankful that the Bible included the story of Korah. He led a group of people to rebel against God’s chosen leaders. Nobody should want a similar outcome duplicated in their lives.

One day Korah . . . incited a rebellion against Moses, along with 250 other leaders of the community, all prominent members of the assembly. Numbers 16:1-2

The theme of this story in the Bible point to the signs of jealousy and envy overtaking Korah. With those two character flaws spreading to others, he and his followers confronted Moses.

They united against Moses and Aaron and said, “You have gone too far! The whole community of Israel has been set apart by the Lord, and he is with all of us.” Numbers 16:3

In other words, Korah was asking Moses and Aaron, “who do you think you are? What gives you the right to do what you are doing?”

“What right do you have to act as though you are greater than the rest of the Lord’s people?” Numbers 16:3

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How Moses Handled the Opposition in this Bible Story of Korah

At that moment, Moses had to decide how he would handle this situation. Korah had convinced this group of leaders to question Moses’ leadership and his authority.

Moses on the other hand never wanted to be in this position in the first place. He made that point quite clear when God spoke to him out of the burning bush.

But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” Exodus 3:11

God, however, assured Moses that He would go with him as he carried out this mission.

God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.” Exodus 3:12

Therefore Moses knew without a shadow of a doubt that God had called him. He also knew the Lord gave him the authority to continue to fulfill His will.

So without responding to them, he just fell face down to the ground. Maybe he whispered a prayer. Or maybe that was his way of not immediately reacting. He then came up with a solution.

He said to Korah and his followers, “Tomorrow morning the Lord will show us who belongs to him and who is holy. The Lord will allow only those whom he selects to enter his own presence. Numbers 16:5

The Bible Story of Korah

Preparations to Enter God’s Presence

The Bible continues this story with Moses telling Korah and company how to prepare to go before God. He also asked him why they weren’t satisfied with serving in the tabernacle.

“Now listen, you Levites! Does it seem insignificant to you that the God of Israel has chosen you from among all the community of Israel to be near him so you can serve in the Lord’s Tabernacle and stand before the people to minister to them?  Numbers 16:8-9

Korah’s actions indicated a sure sign of discontentment. That comes when focusing on ourselves becomes more important than fulfilling God’s will. 

It’s at that point, we tend to view our ministry as being less important than someone else’s. Which became the subject of the next question Moses asked him.

Korah, he has already given this special ministry to you and your fellow Levites. Are you now demanding the priesthood as well? Numbers 16:10

After a few more accusations, Moses became angry. He told the Lord not to accept their grain offerings and he defended himself before God.

So the next day Koran and the 250 leaders came to the entrance of the tabernacle. Aaron and Moses stood there too. While they were all there, Korah decided to make more trouble.

Meanwhile, Korah had stirred up the entire community against Moses and Aaron, and they all gathered at the Tabernacle entrance. Numbers 16:19

The Consequence of Sin

God’s Warning

The Bible says in this part of the story of the rebellion of Korah, God’s presence appeared. The Lord then spoke to Moses and Aaron . . .

“Get away from all these people so that I may instantly destroy them!” And the Lord said to Moses, “Then tell all the people to get away from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.” Numbers 16:21,23-24

The earth opened up. It swallowed Korah along with the other two and everyone else who was physically close to them. God also dealt with the 250 leaders as well.

Then fire blazed forth from the Lord and burned up the 250 men who were offering incense. Numbers 16:35

How Does this Story in the Bible of Korah Relate to You?

People have gone to see movies with scenes like what we just read about and even worse. But I want you to know this story in the Bible of the death of Korah is real life.

It can easily happen to any of us. Especially if we allow jealousy and envy to dominate our lives. They can also fuel us to question or undermine someone who God has called into the ministry.

The earth probably won’t open up and swallow you, nor will fire fall from the sky. But anyone who rebels against the Lord will end up with an eternal rude awakening.

“But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” Revelation21:8

Therefore live for the Lord daily. Seek to stay in the center of His will. Ask His forgiveness often and continually forgive others. Finally, pray for one another and always give thanks for everything.

Lord, help us to see the severity of how discontentment can lead us away from you. We don’t want our story to end like what we read in the Bible about Korah. May we always be in the center of your will?

Checkout out these related posts on warnings.

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