Opposing God's Minister Part 2

VI. We are especially to beware of the gainsaying of Core/Korah. JUDE 1:11; NUM 16. A. gainsay: To deny; to speak against, contradict. B. That which befell Korah and company in NUM 16 was meant to stand as a sign to the O.T. church and to us. NUM 26:10; 1CO 10:5-6. C. This disenchanted uprising followed a case of church discipline. NUM 15:32-36. D. The mutineers “rose up” against Moses. NUM 16:1-2. 1. Their real problem was envy, a volatile force. PSA 106:16-18; PRO 27:4. 2. Bitterness and envy are common bedfellows. JAM 3:14. 3. Therefore, we must be on guard against such attitudes. HEB 12:15. E. Korah and company were “...famous in the congregation, men of renown” (NUM 16:2). Opposing God’s Minister 9-4-22 Page 2 of 5 1. World troubles have come from men of renown. GEN 6:4. a. It is a sad fact that men of wealth, fame or even infamy tend to assume that they ought to be in charge and that the world would thus run better. b. “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” (C.S. Lewis) c. Rule is better by men of integrity than by men of renown, and blessed is that people who are ruled by men renowned for integrity, perhaps even by men who have renounced what men of renown covet to do. 2CO 4:2. 2. Church troubles sometimes stem from such people, who suppose that their status or importance are exemptions from good conduct. PRO 18:23. 3. The name “On” means “wealth or vigour.” c/w JAM 2:6. 4. Levites at least had a nearness to primacy (NUM 16:8-10) but not Reubenites (1CH 5:1). Rebellion against legitimate authority can unite disparate, even contrary parties. ACT 4:27. 5. “Note, The pride, ambition, and emulation, of great men, have always been the occasion of a great deal of mischief both in churches and states. God by his grace make great men humble, and so give peace in our time, O Lord!” (Matthew Henry) F. They gathered themselves together against God. NUM 16:3, 11 c/w PRO 16:5. G. Their charge was “...Ye take too much upon you...” (v. 3) as if God had not given Moses and Aaron this authority. Korah and company were actually guilty of their own charge. 1. They claimed holiness and God's presence for all the congregation. They saw no distinction between themselves and Moses and Aaron. 2. Korah was a Levite, but not a priest. The priestly office was for Aaron and his sons only. HEB 5:4. 3. The Levites were a gift to Aaron. NUM 8:19. 4. Not all laborers of God's house have the office of ministerial rule. 1CO 12:28. 5. Korah was a son of Kohath and the sons of Kohath were appointed to bear the ark of the covenant and the vessels of the sanctuary. NUM 4:15; 7:9. a. They were as close to the ark as a Jew could get without being a priest. b. Korah was not satisfied with eminence; he had to have the preeminence (3JO 1:9), possibly carrying a grudge because Aaron (a Kohathite, 1CH 6:2-3) was made high priest and/or he (Korah) was not chosen as chief of the Kohathites. NUM 3:30. c. Remember that the ark housed the Law of God which spoke of Christ (JOH 5:39) and was the place of His presence on earth to Israel. (1) Korah's duty was to bear the ark; that was his burden. (2) The church is the pillar and ground of the truth (1TI 3:15); it likewise should be bearing up Christ rather than usurping His office. 6. Korah and company had set light by the office that they had as Levites and coveted more authority not given them: Lucifer’s error. vs. 8-10 c/w ISA 14:14. H. They accused Moses of being “altogether” (in all respects, in every particular) a prince over them: Moses was accused of being a dictator; a tyrant (v. 13), an exaggerated false accusation sometimes brought against a man of God exercising his legitimate authority. I. Moses was also accused of a lack of success; he was basically impotent. v. 14. 1. Christ was similarly charged. LUK 23:35. Opposing God’s Minister 9-4-22 Page 3 of 5 2. They blamed the man of God for problems that they were responsible for (2CO 6:12; PRO 19:3) and blame-shifting is our natural pastime since Adam. 3. There was a defiant element who would not attend the church court. vs. 12, 14. J. Their envy, lusts and impatience made them call Egypt the land of milk and honey. v. 13. 1. Carnal thinking will make you call your former bondage “liberty” as it draws you back unto perdition (destruction, ruin). HEB 10:38-39 c/w JER 44:16-19. 2. It will make you rationalize silly, weak and indefensible arguments to excuse yourself from pressing on “...toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (PHIL 3:14) and Satan will accommodate it. 1KI 12:28. K. Moses became angry over their baseless charges and justified himself against their Cain- like offering. v. 15 c/w ACT 20:26, 33. 1. “Respect not thou their offering” is the language of God's rejection of Cain's offering. GEN 4:4-5. 2. Cain and Korah are lumped together in JUDE 1:11. L. When the showdown came, all the congregation had been affected by the gainsayers and gathered themselves against Moses and Aaron. This was democracy in action; majority rule as before at Kadesh-Barnea. v. 19 c/w NUM 13:26-14:5. M. Also at that time, the glory of the Lord appeared as He had done at the installment of Aaron and his sons in their office and also at the previous push for rebellion. v. 19 c/w LEV 9:23; NUM 14:9-10. N. Moses and Aaron interceded for these rebels when God was ready to consume them all. vs. 20-22. O. God hearkened unto the intercession, but instructed the people to separate themselves from the wicked. vs. 23-27; 2TH 3:6, 14. 1. This appeal was basically, “...Save yourselves from this untoward generation” (ACT 2:40). 2. “If we follow the herd into which the devil has entered, it is at our own peril.” (Matthew Henry) P. God made a new thing to show how much this gainsaying had provoked Him. vs. 28-35 c/w NUM 26:10. 1. Great is the wickedness which arouses God to violently use the earth itself to destroy it. Remember Noah’s flood and Sodom and Gomorrah. 2. The 250 men who were not swallowed by the earth were selectively consumed by fire as they stood with Moses and Aaron. v. 35 c/w vs. 17-18. 3. All this proved that Moses had acted per God's authority and not of his own mind. 4. Our God is still a consuming fire. HEB 12:28-29. Q. God ordained a memorial of this event to stand as a warning. vs. 36-40; NUM 26:10. 1. Korah was a Levite not numbered for war (NUM 1:3, 49) and therefore exempted from the general judgment of a wilderness death. NUM 14:29; 26:64-65. 2. He could have made it to Canaan were it not for his ambition! 3. His remarkable fate should remind us that objects of God’s favor or preferment are not exempt from His judgments for sin. 1CO 9:27; JAM 3:2. R. The next day, the whole congregation blamed Moses and Aaron for the deaths of the others. v. 41. 1. It is a special kind of blindness that cannot see the obvious judgment of God and falsely assumes His ministers are the real problem. JER 5:4; GAL 4:16. 2. “In vain have I smitten your children; they received no correction...” (JER 2:30). 3. This is as silly as blaming Noah for the flood (2PE 2:5) or blaming Christians for earthquakes, pestilences and fires (Nero) or the Bible for societal chaos. Opposing God’s Minister 9-4-22 Page 4 of 5 S. Again the glory of God appeared to destroy the people, but Moses and Aaron again interceded for them and the plague stopped. vs. 42-51. T. Mind that Korah's children (Assir, Elkanah, Abiasaph, EXO 6:24) were apparently not swallowed up by the earth like Dathan and Abiram's children. v. 27 c/w NUM 26:11. 1. They evidently had followed the example of Levi at Sinai. DEU 33:9. 2. Eleven psalms were penned for the sons of Korah. PSA 42, 44-49, 84, 85, 87, 88. 3. PSA 84:10 is rather special, considering the gainsaying of Korah. 4. “These sons of Korah were afterwards, in their posterity, eminently serviceable to the church, being employed by David as singers in the house of the Lord; hence many psalms are said to be for the sons of Korah: and perhaps they were made to bear his name so long after, rather than the name of any other of their ancestors, for warning to themselves, and as an instance of the power of God, which brought those choice fruits even out of that bitter root. The children of families that have been stigmatized should endeavour, by their eminent virtues, to roll away the reproach of their fathers.” (Matthew Henry) VII. One had better have a clear case of doctrine before opposing a man of God. ROM 16:17. A. If you doubt something about the pastor, you must give him the benefit of the doubt until you can prove otherwise. B. An accusation against an elder must only be received before two or three witnesses. 1TI 5:19. C. To resist the man of God without Scriptural grounds is to be guilty of sedition and incur damnation. GAL 5:19-21; ROM 13:1-2. Opposing God’s Minister 9-4-22 Page 5 of 5

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