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Korach 25:580:00 / 25:58
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There is a straight line that runs through Scripture, which is the Torah. It is true, it is straight, it is not self-serving, and it does not contain doubt or fear or dismay. The Torah is God, it is Yeshua, the Torah is strong, is an overcomer and the Torah is truth.
But anyone at any time in any season can put a spin on anything. Denominations put spins on the very Word of God to suit their mantra. People spin the truth to suit their perception. Political parties spin the words of their opponents. There is the straight line of The Truth and then there is the spin which is a web of confusion.
Korach had the influence to spin the truth and convince his family and 250 other souls that his way was right. He created a web.
The very beginning of this parsha begins with: ‘And Korach took…Took men…rose up…gathered together against.’ Notice a progression or actually a descent of actions on the part of Korach and his rebels. They separated themselves from fellowship, rose up against Moses, persuaded others of like mind, became a toxic entity and falsely accused leadership of wrong doings. This is the opposite of moving forward in God’s kingdom. Korach was able to take the influence of God away from those around him and replace it with his own. He took the people. Korach took his campaign, a deadly distorted view and morphed it into an evil influence. His pride opened the gate to his assumption that it was not by the command of God that Moshe had appointed Aaron as High Priest but rather by Moshe’s own ambition to keep all the high honors for his own family.
At first it might appear as if Korach comes across a man of equality, going against a system that groups levels of holiness within the community. Yet, in the same breath, he states that he is the more worthy candidate for the High Priesthood. This was his spin. He was able to convince the "two hundred and fifty men of Israel, leaders of the community, of those regularly called to assembly, men of renown” that Moshe was power hungry and that he would be the wiser leader.
Korach’s argument fell on willing ears. The caution here is to be careful to choose wisely the places we visits and people we associate with for influences can direct our paths without us even knowing it.
Micah 2:1 ‘Woe to those who scheme iniquity, who work out evil on their beds! When morning comes, they do it, for it is in the power of their hands.’
Isaiah 5:21 ‘Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight!’
Korah comes from the Hebrew root Kerachk which means frost and ice. In the Scriptures we are referred to grass of the earth, Job 5:25, Isaiah 40:6-7 or grass of the field as in Numbers. Yet there is another reason why we are likened to grass: we are to grow.
The spirit of Korach/ ice causes growth to stop. When a frost hits in the late spring the grass that has moving water traveling over it will not freeze. But the grass that did not have water moving over it is hindered by the frost. So it is the same with believers, for when the spirit of a Korach tries to consume us, our growth with God will not be hindered if we keep the Living moving water of Yeshua flowing over us. But those that are right in their own eyes will be consumed by the influence of Korach. Proverbs 21:2 ‘Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD weighs the hearts.’
Those who are not protected by the Living waters and who listen to the influence of a Korach spirit will stop growing and become stagnant in their own self opinion. Korach was influencing people into a democracy rather than in a Kingdom concept which is what God operates in. Like many demagogues, they define themselves by what they are against, not by what they are for. Korach was against Moshe, He was not for God, but rather for his own ego. He needed to ‘win’.
The spirit of Korach is a stumbling block to those that are consumed with approval addiction. Rather than come humbly before God, they rally around the loudest. A stumbling block is a circumstance that causes difficulty or hesitation. Synonyms are: obstacle, hurdle, barrier, hindrance. Stumbling block in Hebrew is the word: miḵšōl (מִכְשׁוֹל).
Luke 17:1: ‘He said to His disciples, "It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come!”
Psalm 15 describes the character of those who may dwell with The Lord.
‘Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
He who walks uprightly,
And works righteousness,
And speaks the truth in his heart;
3 He who does not backbite with his tongue,
Nor does evil to his neighbor,
Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend;
4 In whose eyes a vile person is despised,
But he honors those who fear the Lord;
He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
5 He who does not put out his money at usury,
Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.’
Numbers 17 continues with the budding of Aaron’s staff. God tells Moshe in 17:5 ‘The staff belonging to the man I choose will sprout, and I will rid myself of this constant grumbling against you by the Israelites.” Notice God describes that the grumbling was against Moshe. God continues in verse 10 with: ‘The Lord said to Moses, “Put back Aaron’s staff in front of the ark of the covenant law, to be kept as a sign to the rebellious. This will put an end to their grumbling against Me, so that they will not die.” 11 Moses did just as the Lord commanded him.'
Notice in this verse God equates that the grumbling against Him. When one would murmur against the leader, Moshe, they were in essence murmuring against God.
The Israelites continue with a ‘me’ attitude instead of a repented and remorseful heart. Verse 12 concludes chapter 17 with their fear. ‘12 The Israelites said to Moses, “We will die! We are lost, we are all lost! 13 Anyone who even comes near the tabernacle of the Lord will die. Are we all going to die?”
This Torah parsha closes with the duties and offerings of the priests and Levites.
May you be blessed as you study Korach~ Rabbi Jay Howard