Numbers 16: An Uprising is Put Down


Korah gathers 250 princes to rise up against Moses and Aaron. the complaint is that you took us out of a land of milk and honey promising us another land of milk and honey and now you tell us we can’t have that new land and you are keeping us here in the desert because you want to be in charge of all of us. Moses tells them all – look – if you want to serve God directly, go ahead, but ... if he doesn’t want to deal with you, he’ll kill you. So, take your chances. Korah and his men show up with brass censers for incense. God is really mad and tells everyone that doesn’t want to die to get away from Korah. Moses informs the congregation if these men aren’t going to die a common death. The ground is going to open up and swallow them. Which it does. It swallows up every tent belonging to Korah and his men. A fire then envelops the 250 men who followed Korah. The brass censers are taken and a memorial built out of them for the altar. The next day, everyone who murmured against Moses was killed by God, a total of 14,700 people in addition to the 250 that died during the incidence with Korah.

In other words: 

A group of 250 men rise up against Moses and Aaron and God kills them and their followers.

Favorite bit:

Numbers 16:29 – to prove that this is God and not Moses, the deaths of the usurpers won’t be a common one.

Second favorite bit:

The entire chapter – I love that something interesting happened. Finally.  Intrigue, plots that bring disaster.

Least favorite bit:

That almost 15,000 people died in this uprising.

Moral Contemplation:

Even with God on their side and with visible and rather obvious examples of his power, Moses and Aaron still don’t command the respect of their followers. The conditions in this camp must have been horrid enough for this sort of intrigue to keep happening. Even Aaron and his sister had plotted against Moses at one point. He’s not a very good leader.

Moral Lesson Learned:

Respect isn’t automatic. It has to be earned. (Numbers 16)