Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Some Remarkable People!

Numbers 26:9-11  The sons of Eliab were Nemuel, Dathan, and Abiram. These are the Dathan and Abiram, representatives of the congregation, who contended against Moses and Aaron in the company of Korah, when they contended against the LORD; and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up together with Korah when that company died, when the fire devoured two hundred and fifty men; and they became a sign.  Nevertheless the children of Korah did not die.

In Psalms 44-49 we find something very remarkable.  The sons of Korah are praising the God who judged their father for rebelling against the leadership of Moses.  The story is found in its entirety in Numbers 16.  Korah, Dathan and Abiram were swallowed up by the earth because they had thought that Moses took too much upon Himself.  They seemed to forget that God had chosen Moses to lead Israel.  He had not taken this responsibility upon Himself.  When the judgment came, all that did not separate themselves from Korah, Dathan and Abiram, were judged with them.  Numbers 16:27 mentions their wives, their sons and their little children. But apparently that did not include the sons of Korah because they did not die.  Years later the sons of Korah are praising this God who judged their own father.  I am afraid that most of us (maybe I mean I) would have thought God was a little harsh and would have been critical of Him opening up the ground and swallowing them up for wanting to share in Moses leadership.

Sometimes the command to honor father and mother is used as a club to convince children to do whatever their parents ask.  While that may be the case with young children, older children honor their father and mother by putting God first.  The sons of Korah did that.  In my opinion, it would be hard to find people today that would have justified and praised God in this situation.

After Korah, Dathan and Abiram are swallowed up by the earth, the next day the congregation of Israel complained that Moses (NOT GOD) had killed these people.  God then sent a plague to judge this rebellion and Aaron had to take a censer (a vessel or dish) containing fire from the altar and incense and stand between the living and the dead to stop the plague.  But again, apparently, the sons of Korah did not die.  The sons of Korah were faithful to God and separated themselves from the rebellion of their father.  Whether they wrote their songs of praise immediately following this disaster with their songs being sung later in the temple worship or whether these songs were written much later by the offspring of those who were faithful is not clear to me.  But what is clear is that these sons were old enough to be accountable to God.  In writing and singing these songs, the sons of Korah justified God in the judgment of their father.

What the sons of Korah did was not natural, rather it was spiritual.  Their father criticized God’s chosen leadership.  That is the way of a person walking in the flesh.  But the children made spiritual decisions.

I wonder how many of us today would worship God in spirit and in truth if it meant standing against the attitudes, decisions and practices of our family and our close friends.  The Lord tells us that we must love Him more than we love family.  We need to be careful that when we love the sinner we don’t participate in or justify their sin just because they are family or close friends.

Thank goodness God’s judgment is not immediate and severe in this day of grace.  Judgment will come but it will be in eternity.  But if God’s judgment were immediate and severe today, would we be able to justify God and praise Him for judging sin in this way?  Some people today are explaining away eternal conscious punishment after death for the unbeliever because they think that judgment is too severe and is contrary to the idea of a merciful God.  People who are doing that today are not like the “sons of Korah.”

The sons of Korah were remarkable people, in my opinion.

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of July 28, 2013

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