Bamidbar (Numbers) 16:1–18:32
This week’s Scripture portion got me thinking about the importance of guarding our hearts at all times, and not allowing pride, jealousy, greed or any other evil to take root in them. After all, each day is an opportunity to serve and walk with our God, and those vices will only hinder us. They are like heavy weights that bog us down and encumber us!
As I have previously written on this portion Korach, the great grandson of Levi (and cousin of Moses and Aaron), led a rebellion against Moses and Aaron. As a descendant of Levi, Korach was part of the tribe chosen by God to perform the holy work in the Mishkan (Tabernacle — God’s dwelling place). He, along with 250 other influential men from within the tribes of Israel, questioned the authority and position of Moses and Aaron.
It is interesting to note that some of the men leading the rebellion alongside Korah were the descendants of Reuben. Recall that Reuben was the oldest of Jacob’s sons, which meant that people looked up to him and revered him as the first-born. Coming from this line surely carried some prestige, especially considering how important the first-born male was to the Hebrew culture of that time! During this time in the desert, perhaps they found themselves somewhat humiliated by being put “under” Moses and Aaron. Wounded pride can lead us to do desperate things if not surrendered to the LORD…
In questioning the authority and position of Moses and Aaron, Korah and his crew were in essence questioning God’s authority; they questioned His right to put those whom He chose in the specific tasks that He desired. Basically, no one was satisfied with the roles that God had chosen! Moses recognized this rebellious spirit within the Levites and challenged it when he said in verse 9:
…is it not enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself, to do the service of the tabernacle of the LORD, and to stand before the congregation to minister to them;
The above verse is such an important verse for us to reflect on in our walk with and service to the LORD!
Are you satisfied and thankful for the mere fact that, out of all the people in the world, God chose you to be in relationship with Him, and has removed the veil from your eyes? Or are you allowing pride, jealousy and greed to enter into your life, comparing your walk to others?
If I reflect on my own walk with the LORD, I can see that there were times when I allowed jealousy and pride to enter my heart. I would look at people, who I considered to be great teachers, and instead of learning from them, I allowed a competitive and jealous spirit to enter my thoughts, which gave way to a root of bitterness. It was bitterness toward my brothers in the LORD and toward God Himself.
Eventually, the LORD convicted me, and I confessed it before Him and asked my brothers for their forgiveness. If I hadn’t, it could have resulted in me being spiritually dead and preventing the LORD from working through me with the specific gifts that He had given me. Ironically, as I am writing this blog, I am thinking about the fact that this blog would not exist today if I hadn’t stopped feeling sorry for myself and started being faithful with the gifts He had given me.
You are unique; there is no one exactly like you. This is not an accident, but God’s design. He has gifted you with a specific mix of gifts and life experiences that no one else has. Please do not allow pride, jealousy, competition, and greed to keep you from blessing the world with the specific gifts you possess. Those things will blind you to what God has given you, which will bring about crippling dissatisfaction, preventing you from using your gifts for His glory.
If you are struggling in this area, I encourage you to let go of all those heavy and crippling feelings. He is always faithful to forgive you, and wash away any sin to make you clean before Him. I love the words of King David when he cried out to God to make him clean again:
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.