By | February 10, 2024


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Memory Verse: “He, that Being often reproved Hardeneth his neck, shall Suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy”(Proverbs 29:1).

TEXT: Numbers 16:1-50; 17:1-13

Moses had faced murmuring from the children of Israel Since God used him to deliver them from Egypt (Exodus 16:1,2,6,7, 12; Numbers 1 1:1,2; 14:1-5). However, the one in Our text today was from those who were leaders in the camp of Israel. “And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of The assembly, famous in the congregation, men of Renown” (Numbers 16:2). The consequences of this rebellion were disastrous, destructive and damning. As Christian Youths, we need to know that rebelling against constituted authority either at home, school, society or in the church is against God who ordained them because “…the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will” (Daniel 4:32). The only way out of rebellion is total repentance and separation from the Company of the rebels. “And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, Separate yourselves from among This congregation, that I may consume them in a Moment” (Numbers 16:20,21).

Numbers 16:1-19,41-43; 26:9-11;1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12

“Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men” (Numbers 16:1). Korah was one of the children of Levi, the same tribe with Moses and Aaron. He was chosen by God through Moses to serve, being a Levite (Numbers 3:5,6,27,44.45; 4:1,2, 1 7,18: 7:9). Dathan and Abiram were the sons of Reuben, the first son of Jacob. The three men were famous and renowned among the children of Israel. Korah was given the privilege and responsibility to serve in the tabernacle, yet, he was not He joined others to rebel against God and the leaders He appointed. These three men gathered two hundred and fifty princes who rose up to challenge Moses, the man of God. They accused Moses of being proud and setting himself above the people. “And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto the m, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?” (Numbers 16:3). This was rebellion.

Question 1: What is rebellion?

Rebellion is an attitude of not showing respect to leadership. These men lacked respect and honour for God and His servants. When Moses heard this, “he fell upon his face” He was a humble, mcek and lowly man of God. He was ready to settle the problem peacefully. Due to these men’s attitude, Moses prayed that God should not respect their offering. “And Moses was very wroth, and said unto the LORD, Respect not thou their offering: I have not taken one ass from them, neither have I hurt one of them” (Numbers 16:15).

Question 2: What was the major cause of this rebellion?

“And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab: which said, We will not come up: Is it a small thing that thou hast brought us up out of a land that floweth with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, except thou make thyself altogether a prince over us” (Numbers 16:12,13). The major cause of this rebellion was pride in the heart of these men. Lucifer did the same thing against God (Isaiah 14:12-15). As Christian youths, we should know that pride is a great sin In the sight of God. Pride is hateful to God. There is, in pride, That which insults God, rejects Him and dethrones Him. Pride is destructive to the soul. The proud or haughty in spirit cannot see God. Pride renders God a disagreeable object of worship to the sinner and backslider. Pride consists of an Unduly exalted opinion of one’s self. It prevents sinners from Seeking the true knowledge of God. The proud is not ready to be taught the way of God. To him, he is self-sufficient without His Creator. Beware of pride!
In response to Moses’ request, they gathered at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. “And Korah gathered all the congregation against them unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the glory of the LORD appeared Unto all the congregation” (Numbers 16:19). This is the glory that brought judgment. When Miriam spoke against Moses, the glory of God represented by the cloud came down and brought judgment on her (Number 12:5,10). When we come to the house of God, we should know that the presence of God is there to bless His people. However, that same presence of God Can also bring judgment on those who dishonor Him. Worship God with godly fear and reverence. “For our God is a Consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29).

Numbers 16: 27-35; Deuteronomy 11:5,6; Numbers 26:9-1l; Psalms 106:16-18; Jude l1; Numbers 27:3

As they gathered, “the glory of the Lord appeared unto the congregation” and the fullness of His wrath was let loose. He Was set to consume the whole congregation in a moment. The congregation was separated from the company of the wicked because of Moses’ intercession.

Question 3: What judgment did God bring on Korah and His company?

“They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation” (Numbers 16:33). The unique judgment of horror, death and burial included in the same act shows the extent of God’s wrath on the rebellious. Furthermore, the two hundred and fifty men who offered incense, fire came out from the Lord and consumed them. As the congregation saw God’s judgment on the three leaders of conspiracy, they fled. The Scripture says, “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil…” (Exodus 23:2).

Question 4: What is the danger of living in pride and rebellion?

In the death of Korah and his company, we see the peculiar shameful doom of those, who in pride, will not accept the leadership of God’s anointed servants. Sin cannot always be kept secret. However, the consequences of sin go beyond a personal level. We cannot sin without great consequences to our families. Directly or indirectly, it involves others in its fatal (deadly) consequences. Adam and Eve disobeyed God; the rest of humanity followed the same. Rebecca’s sin of impatience affected Isaac’s family. Miriam and Achan sinned, and it affected the progress of the whole nation (Numbers 12:15; Joshua 7:24-26; 22:20). Saul’s sin affected his family and the nation. After this fearful judgment, one would presume that this will bring an end to rebellion, conspiracy and murmuring among the people. But it was not so. The very next day “…all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of the LORD” (Numbers 16:41). God speedily visited them with a judgment of plague which followed the appearing of the glory of the Lord. “Now they that died in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, beside them that died about the matter of Korah” (Numbers 16:49). The New Testament warns: “Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written or our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come” (1 Corinthians 10:10,11).

Question 5: What is the cure for pride and rebellion?

For a youth to be free from pride, rebellion and position-seeking, he must be cleansed and purged from these defilements. The Lord has power to forgive, save and cleanse anyone who comes to Him for pardon and restoration. We must pray sincerely with unwavering faith and absolute confidence in God’s power and promise. We can be purged, kept pure and ready for heaven. After you have been cleansed and purged, the following practical steps should be taken to maintain the freedom received from God. One, separate yourself from rebellious youths (verses 21,23,24). Two, follow the good example of godly leaders (verse 25). Three, share the gospel with sinners to repent and avoid the judgment of God (verse 26). Four, we should stand in the gap by praying for rebellious youths (verse 22,44-48). Five, we should be sober and watchful not to go into sin again (verse 39,40). Six, be humble and respectful to leaders in the church because they are God’s appointed servants. Seven, live in holiness daily.

Numbers 17:6-9; 18:1-7; Hebrews 5:1-4; Isaiah 1l 1:1-5, 1 Peter 2:5,9

To confirm the priesthood of Aaron, God gave a directive to Moses to ask each of the heads of the twelve tribes to present his rod. The rod was a symbol of the authority of the price (head) of the tribe. God wanted to bring about divine affirmation of the priesthood as a special service and privilege given to Aaron. Moses was commanded to lay all the twelve rods in the tabernacle, before the testimony. The Lord would then make His choice out of all the rods presented before the testimony of the tabernacle of witness. We can see the uprightness and orderliness God employed in His doings. The choice of leadership is God’s right. “And it shall come to pass that the man’s rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom: and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, whereby they murmur against you” (Numbers 17:5). The aim of the Lord was to get id of the cause of the murmuring of the children of Israel against Moses and Aaron, which had caused the death of many. He knew the possibility was still there for the people to yield to that temptation despite seeing the judgment that came upon those who murmured. As a result of that, He commanded Moses to carry out this process in order to affirm the priesthood. Every youth, therefore, must be submissive to leadership appointment either in the church or fellowship. Any attempt to revolt against such appointment will bring divine judgment on them. Moses followed the Lord and kept this charge simply. God is Omniscience and sees into the future. He knows the depth of the heat of all men and if He did not sufficiently confirm the Aaronic priesthood, the princes of the tribes could stir up further protest among the people. Christian youths should be like Moses in carrying out the instructions of the Lord from their leaders and parents. We need not wait to fully understand the import of the Lord’s instruction before obeying We must promptly obey as long as what we are asked to do is in line with scriptural principles.

Question 6: How did the Lord confirm the Aaronic Priesthood?

“Moses was very plain and transparent, and was obedient to God. The people saw when he”…laid up the rods before the LORD” (verse 7). He patiently waited for a whole day. They saw him when he “… brought out all the rods from before the LORD” (verse 9). No doubt, they were convinced beyond every shadow of doubt that the outcome of the whole process was God’s design. As Christian youths, we must be honest, straightforward and transparent in our dealings with all men. Our teachers at schools, leaders in the church and parents at hone must know us to be honest. All forms o worldly wisdom, craftiness, pranks and deception are not in conformity with the Christian life. The society may not appreciate it because of its corruption but heaven will recognize it and God will reward you. Another quality we see in Moses, is patience. Moses waited for God until the next day for him to make His choice. Patience is a rare gem that is missing in the world today. As Christian youths, whenever we commit anything into God’s care, we should patiently wait for Him to come up with His revealed will before we carry out any action. It is dangerous to run ahead of God. While all the other rods remained as they were, Aaron’s rod of the house of the family of Levi became a living branch. “And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds” (Numbers 17:8). It was a supernatural display by which the Lord openly confirmed the Aaronic priesthood. When the people saw it, they knew it was the work of the Lord. They were convinced that the house of Aaron was chosen to the priesthood.

Question 7: What is the significance of Aaron’s rod that budded and what can we learn from it?

Twelve rods were brought by twelve princes or elders of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. It was the practice of a prince or an elder of the people to bear a rod to symbolize royalty and authority. Moses’ rod was a symbol of God’s authority and power conferred on him by which he performed miracles in the land of Egypt and the wilderness (Exodus 7:8,9;14:16;17:8,9). God, by a glorious supernatural act, put a distinctive difference between Aaron’s rod and the other princes or elders. This shows that, though, the princes were men of authority in their tribes, none of them was chosen to he priesthood. The priesthood, a sacred office was exclusively tor Aaron and his house. “And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron” (Hebrews 5:4). Today, Christ is our High Priest. The Spensation of the Aaronic priesthood is over. God also that Christ has been appointed as the High Priest of the Church.

As Christian youths, we learn the following in today’s lesson:
We need God’s approval in our appointed ministry.
The fruit of righteousness is the best proof that we have responded and benefited from the divine call.
We must not be envious of other people’s privileges or positions.
We must maintain spiritual freshness and fruitfulness as evidences of God’s grace and calling.
God communicates with His chosen servant in a unique way to instill fear upon the congregation and the rebellious.
Once we have repented and become God’s children, we must shun the sins of murmuring, pride, and rebellion. And
God always make a difference between His true servants as a sign of His appointment and approval upon their lives. That ye may be blameless, the sons of God, without rebuke. In the midst of a crooked and perverse nation among whom ye shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15).

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