PARASHA: “Korach” (Korah) NUMBERS 16:1-18:32
This study is about a Levite named “Korach”. The name "Korach" means "baldness and uncovered." He and a few of his friends; Dathan and Abiram got together with 250 other tribal leaders and they “Rose up in the face of Moshe”. Now, this for sure is NOT a friendly gathering, they did not come to Moshe on friendly terms. No, it was a REBELLION! Pride and arrogance had filled the hearts of these men and now they questioned Moshe’s authority.
We can’t seem to understand why, after Moshe led them through the wilderness, went up Har Sinai, received the commandments, and interceded for the whole people on various occasions so that God would not destroy them, now want to question Moshe’s leadership calling. Guess we can call it just that, “blind arrogance and the will to do “their own thing.” They came against Aaron and Moshe with the following words;
“Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and YHVH is among them; wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the assembly of YHVH?” (16:3)
The words “congregation” and “assembly” are one in the same “Kahal” (Qoph, Hey, Lamed) “behold there is holiness in instruction” That is what every single congregation should be all about, be the congregation a Sunday honoring church or a Sabbath honoring Messianic Synagogue, we are all ONE body in MESSIAH YESHUA, dedicated to receiving instruction from the Torah through Adonai’s chosen vessels.
“Holiness” or “Kodesh” means we are “separated” unto YHVH by our lifestyles and through our acceptance of Yeshua as our LORD and Savior. Studying the Word of God and applying it to our lives increases our maturity in the faith.
Rambam stated the following; "Any person whose spirit moves him (or her) and inspires him to depart from the (evil) things of the world and place themself before the face of God and serve Him as His minister, work for Him, serve Him, know Him, and follow His Torah, and walk in good moral standards in all correctness, rejecting the worries of this world will be considered "Kadosh" and a "Tzadik".
Now, here’s a question, was Korah right by saying that “all the congregation is holy, and that YHVH was with them?” Yes, he was absolutely right!
“You shall be unto me a holy nation and a kingdom of priests” (Exodus 19:5) There was nothing wrong with that statement because it is a TRUE statement. Today, every born-again believer is a “priest” we have access to the Throne of Grace, just like the priests of old went before the people in the Tabernacle and later on, in the Holy Temple to make intercession before YHVH. The only difference between the Holiness of God and the holiness of repentant man is that "our" holiness is lacking, "God's" holiness is complete, perfect, and sinless. Our holiness is still full of "holes." (The sin nature). We become "holy" through faith and acceptance of Yeshua as LORD and Savior.
Through Yeshua, we have intercession before a Holy God. What was WRONG, was that they questioned Aaron and Moshe’s authority by saying; “wherefore lift ye up yourselves above the Kahal of YHVH?”
The truth is, that they did NOT lift themselves up over the “Kahal Yisrael” it was ADONAI who lifted THEM UP! It was YHVH who ordained them as leaders to lead the flock of Israel. In every organization, there has to be a leader or leaders. In every business, there is an owner, president, manager, assistant managers, shift leaders, and workers. All of them have “value” yet they need to be led by leaders, or the business will topple over, and the workers scatter like sheep without a shepherd.
In the church/synagogue setting, there has to be a pastor or rabbi, assistant pastors, and associate rabbi or rabbis, then, we have the Sunday School teachers, Torah teachers, youth workers, children’s ministry, music, and worship leaders and assistants, secretaries, finance officers, etc.…
ALL have MUCH VALUE in ministry, for that reason, we are given the spiritual gifts to make the Body of Messiah work and run like a well-oiled machine. YET, when rebels come and want to disrupt the congregation, disaster can happen, and that is what the enemy “HaSatan” wants, yet before that happened, YHVH had to step in and deal with the situation at hand. In all, we have 250 plus Korah, Dathan, and Abiram that are causing the rebellion. A rebellion that could have spread to a few million Kahal members, “Kol HaKahal Yisrael” (to ALL the congregation of Israel).
YHVH has them to bring their censors and put incense and fire in them and bring them before the Mishkan. YHVH will settle the matter once and for all. Remember that the censor, incense, and fire symbolize our prayers that ascend to Adonai. Moshe in a way is saying; “LORD, YOU decide who you want to lead, and be a high priest!”
Adonai answered in a very frightening way. But before that, Moshe pointed out to Korah that he was already appointed to serve in the tabernacle, and intercede before the people. Yet, Korah was not satisfied and he wanted, even MORE. He wanted to be priest, and perhaps even “High Priest”. There could have been a way of asking about a “promotion” (sort of saying) Korah could have approached Moshe and have Moshe ask God about perhaps promoting him to the priesthood, in a humble and respectful way, yet Korah was defiant.
There are 7 steps to rebellion. What are they? 1) Self-exaltation, 2) jealousy, 3) conspiring with others, 4) deceitful and/or crafty words, 5) accusations, 6) division 7) death.
When we look at Satan's rebellion against Adonai, we see all these steps. In the end, we will see that Satan is as "good as dead" burning in the Lake of Fire. Korach followed these same steps.
Korah’s defiance led to a rebellion, and the rebellion led to destruction. Not only the destruction of Korah, but also of those who followed him. In Hebrew, the words “Korach” which symbolizes “Rebellion” and “Sh’dad” which means “destruction” are related because they both have the same numeric value in Hebrew gematria “308”.
As we read on, the “earth opened up” and swallowed up Korah and his household. HOWEVER, God did not punish the righteous members of Korah’s family. Remember that the “Sons of Korah” wrote some of the Psalms. He had some sons that were against their father’s rebellion, and they were saved. Just as we remember the plea of Abraham concerning Sodom and Gomorra, “Far be it that YHVH should destroy the righteous with the wicked” so Adonai sent an Angel to take Lot and his family out of Sodom, but just as Lot’s sons-in-law and his wife perished, saving only Lot and his two daughters, some of the sons of Korah were saved, and the rest of the family went down into Sheol.
Then we see that Adonai wipes out all the 250 rebels, and cleans the slate! No more rebels. May that be a lesson for those who would want to challenge Adonai or his appointed ones. However, is there a time when God’s leaders can be challenged? I would say that if a leader or leaders are teaching lies, false doctrines, and leading the people AWAY from God, teaching that there are “many ways” to God and that Yeshua is NOT enough, THEN…that leader needs to stop and think what he or she is doing, if others of the Kahal bring this to their attention, it should be done in a humble, respectful way, not in a rebellious way.
We must be reminded of what 1 Peter 2:13-15 says: “ Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man”, “or unto governors” and “So is the will of God” God has appointed them to lead us.
We ALL have a place in ministry, we are all vessels of VALUE. Yet all vessels have a maker, and that maker is YHVH, and he always chooses a certain vessel or vessels to lead the others, we must all come under that leadership, lift up that leadership, uphold those hands of leadership through support and prayer. Who knows, maybe Adonai will choose YOU as an appointed leader!