Numbers 16:3 “You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the Lord’s assembly?”

     Korah a great grandson of Levi,  challenged Moses and Aaron.  Korah and his little group decided Moses was to big for his ‘britches’; “To paraphrase, they said, ‘Look! Who are you, Moses? You’ve taken this authority to yourself, but it should be shared among all the people, because we have all been called out. We are all holy before God. Why then do you exalt yourself above the congregation of the LORD?'” (Forerunner Commentary)

     Korah wanted a ‘piece of the action’; “Korah’ s object was not to abolish the distinction between the Levites and the people, but to win priestly dignity for himself and his kinsmen Numbers 16:10.” (Barnes’ Notes)  Today many use Korah’s rebellion as an example of what happens when ‘God’s anointed’ are challenged; “The rebellion of Korah demonstrates the grim consequences of usurping the authority of God and of those whom He has chosen to be leaders of His people.” (S. Michael Houdmann)

     Michael Houdmann goes on to point out; “Some 1,500 years later, Jude records a strong warning about such men who come into the church as false teachers, arrogating to themselves the authority of God and His Word: ‘Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion’ (Jude 1:11)”

     We must be careful to understand that God changed  leadership ‘models’ since Moses’ time. After Joshua, God’s people were lead by judges, then kings and today Jesus, the King of Kings. Scripture tells us that many will not accept Jesus’ rule; “They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.” (Revelation 17:14)  This was all God’s doing, culminating in Jesus.  Korah wanted  to prepare for himself, what God had already prepared for His people in His perfect timing.  Korah was running ahead of God.

     Korah’s rebellion is really about usurping God’s authority;  “God’s true leaders, the elders and pastors of the church who shepherd the flock with humility and care, have an accurate understanding of the Scriptures (see Malachi 3:18; Romans 12:2; Ephesians 5:10-11). Such men submit themselves in humble adoration of Christ and His lordship (see Matthew 16:16; Colossians 2:9; 1 Timothy 3:16)”. (Got Questions Ministries)

     To try to prop up a corrupt leadership by appealing to a defunct Old Testament leadership model and using the threat of Korah’s punishment to keep people subservient is in itself a glaring example of Korah’s rebellion.  Scripture is plain, “Jesus is the head of the church; And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” (Ephesians 1:22,23)  Leadership belongs to Jesus not man made Moses ‘types’!

     Scripture tells us that we are all priests; “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:5)   We no longer need the Levitical priesthood of Moses day;  “. . . since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16)
     Korah went too far, trying to run ahead of God by taking a position and authority that was not rightfully his to take. Only in Jesus can we be truly holy and Jesus had not come to earth yet.  Those who try to usurp Jesus’ authority today, go too far by making themselves mediators between God and man, and by trying to stay behind God’s timing in clinging to an Old Testament leadership model.  Both running ahead and staying behind is rebellious and a manifestation of Korah’s rebellion.

     As Christians today, we must keep in step with God’s Holy Spirit.  We don’t live in and get our authority from the Old Testament and its Law.  Simply we live in Jesus Christ and get our authority from His righteousness; “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile” (Romans 3:22)

     Let us keep in step with His Holy Spirit; “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.” (Galatians 5:25,26)

     Praise the Lord!