Summary: What is involved in a calling?
A. THE PROBLEM
Korah, Dathan and Abiram. “They incited a rebellion against Moses, along with 250 other prominent leaders. They challenged Moses, ‘You and Aaron have gone too far, you two think only you can intercede for the people. Everyone in Israel is set apart by God, He is with all of us. What right do you have to act as the only priests” (Num. 16:2-3, Amplified).
1. What was Korah’s sins; (1) A denial of Moses’ authority as God’s leader and (2) his intrusion into the priest’s office?
2. Korah was first cousin to Moses (Ex. 6:21). He was equal in rank with Aaron. The issue was not birth, but the calling of God. “No one can become a high priest simply because he wants such an honor. He has to be called of God for this work, just as Aaron was” (Heb. 5:4, NLT).
What Is Involved In A “Calling?”
a. Divine desire. “I will preach.”
b. Divine obligation. “I must preach.”
c. Fruit bearing. “I have fruit.”
d. Spiritual giftedness. “I can do it.”
3. Be careful of complaints against today’s church leaders. Jude condemns, “false teachers . . . and like Korah, they will perish because of their rebellion” (Jude 11, NLT).
4. It was more than complaint, action was involved. The word “took” (v. 1) suggest they were attempting to act out their complaint.
B. MOSES’ RESPONSE
1. The first response is prayer. “Moses . . . fell upon his face” (16:4).
2. Wise attitude. “Avenge not yourselves, but rather give place to wrath, as it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord’” (Rom. 12:19).
3. Moses didn’t (a) defend himself, (b) list his past accomplishments, (c) list his qualifications, (d) appeal to the people.
4. Moses looked to God for a decision. “The Lord will show who are His” (v. 5).
5. Moses was confident in God’s calling at the burning bush. “Whom He has chosen” (18:5).
6. Moses challenged them to ministry validation. “Take your censers . . . put fire in them . . . before the Lord tomorrow” (16:6-7).
7. Moses reminded them what God did for his enemies. “Seemeth it but a small thing to you . . . the God of Israel . . . bringeth you near to Himself to do service” (16:9).
8. Moses revealed their true heart purpose. “The one you are really revolting against is the Lord!” (16:11).
9. Moses ask his detractors to meet him at the tabernacle. “Their heart was revealed, ‘We will not come’” (16:12, 14).
The Sons of Korah
Korah’s children and grandchildren learned a positive lesson from his negative decision. When Korah wouldn’t meet Moses, “We will not come” (v. 12, 16), his children wrote 12 Psalms, all about seeking to enter the Tabernacle and enjoying the presence of God. “A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else. I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God, than live the good life in the house of the wicked” (Ps. 84:10).
C. JUDGEMENT ON REBELLION
1. Moses prayed their work would be rejected. “Do not respect their offering” (16:15).
2. Moses testified of his integrity against their slander. “I have not taken one donkey from them” (16:15).
3. Moses told them to get censers and put fire in them. This was permitted only of those who were interceding priests (v. 17).
4. Moses separated from them. “If these men die a natural death, then the Lord has not sent me” (16:29, NLT).
5. Moses prayed for judgment. “If the Lord performs a miracle and the ground opens up and swallows . . . they go down alive into the grave, then you will know these men have despised the Lord” (16:30).
“When Moses finished speaking, the ground suddenly split open beneath them, and swallowed the three men, their household and those who stood with them and everything they owned. All Israel ran away as they heard the screams of the victims. Then a fire blazed from the Lord and burned up the 250 men who had censers in their hands” (Num. 16:31-35, Amplified).
D. 8 LESSONS IN DEALING WITH HERESY OR REBELLION
1. False teaching grows out of living in rebellion. (The thesis of the book of Jude).
2. Be careful of a critical mouth against God and His servants.
3. Pray for God to transform your critical spirit into intercession and support.
4. Old Baptist dictum. “Let the minority have their say, let the majority have their way, and all support it.”
5. Prayer is your first response to heresy and rebellion.
6. Be careful and reverent when taking an office for God.
7. Ordain only those called of God.
8. God judges false teachers in many different ways.