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Being CAREFUL to Obey God

The rebellion of people against God is not a new thought.  “Rebellion is bound up in the heart of a child” the wise man said.  And such rebellion is graphically seen in the pages of the Hebrew Scriptures, as the apostle Paul wrote, “The things written aforetime were written for our learning” and again, “All Scripture . . . is profitable. . .” (Romans 15:4; 2 Tim 3:16-17).

Just after God instructed Moses to tell the Israelites to sew into the corner of their garments a “tassel with a blue cord/thread” as a reminder to them to keep the commandments of God (Numbers 15:37-40), three amazing accounts are recorded that illustrate the need for such a reminder and that, in spite of the reminder, humankind often rejects God’s commands and rebels against Him.

First, notice the rebellion of some of the Levites against Aaron and Moses, against their authority.  Korah, Dathan, Abiram and On raised 250 men of renown to question the position assumed by Aaron and Moses.  God confirmed His choice of Moses and Aaron and Korah and his followers were swallowed up by the earth because of their rejection of those God placed in authority over the Israelites. 250 died that day.   Numbers 16:28-35. 

Second, on the heels of seeing that, “all the congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, saying, “You have killed the people of the Lord.”  Suddenly the Lord shows up and punishes the people for their insolence and 14,700 died (16:41-49).  

Third, after Aaron is demonstrated to be the high priest with God’s approval and authority, the children of Israel complain and contend with Moses (20:3ff) about their lack of food and water.  Moses’ disregard for God’s instruction to speak to the rock to gain water leads to his striking the rock with his rod, which he had done previously, and that disobedience cost Moses the privilege of entering the Promised Land. 

How often do we, in spite of knowing the authority of God and the Word of God, choose to ignore it and go our own way, “do our own thing” and sin against God and against our fellow man?   How often do we allow our frustrations or our anger to cause us to sin?   We must always be reminding ourselves of the need for personal discipline and of the Lord's discipline (cf. Hebrews 12:5-6).  

May we be reminded by Korah and his relatives of the dangers to ourselves of ignoring God and rebelling against His authority.  May we be reminded that our own sins can have devastating effects on our families and neighbors and friends.  And may we be convicted in our hearts to pay attention to what is God’s Will—that which is good and right—so our own lives can be blessed and our world will be a better place in which to live. 


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