Pride & Rebellion Are Always Partners
Numbers 16:1-3, "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: 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: And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, 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?"
I don't know of many things that could be more negative and destructive to the cause of Christ than pride and rebellion. Moses had been called by God to lead the children of Israel, and Aaron had also been chosen by the LORD, to be the official priestly representative in the ministry of the tabernacle. One of the Levites, Korah by name, brought a group of men, who decided they were going to elevate themselves to a position they had not been given by the Lord, and this deed of pride and rebellion was in direct opposition to the LORD, to Moses, and to Aaron, His called servants.
God works through structured leadership, God calls people to various positions, and expects His people to submit to His ordained leaders. I have seen people who wanted to complain and rise up against God's chosen leaders rather than cooperate and promote harmony, submission and teamwork in a church environment. Korah developed this attitude of pride and rebellion and for some reason thought God would bless His actions. Nothing is further from the truth, and God opened the ground underneath these men and their families to remove their rebellious pride from among the congregation. (vs. 16:32) This was God's way of not only judging the sin of Korah and his rebels, but it was also God's way of instilling fear in those who remained to see the judgment.
On two occasions in Hebrews 13 we are commanded how to respond to those who rule (oversee) our spiritual lives. Hebrews 13:7, "Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation." In Hebrews 13:17, "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you." Lastly in the book of 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, "...we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves."
It is important that we understand that God works through structured leadership. He calls people to certain positions to labor among us, they are separated by Him to these positions, and God's expectation is for His people to follow their faith, to respond in obedience and submission, and highly esteem them in love for the work they do for the Lord and His people. Korah obviously missed God's will when he rose up against Moses and Aaron. Godly leaders are not perfect, but they are chosen, and we need to make sure not to rise up against them, we need to work in harmony to achieve the will of God.
Your Friend and HIS,
QUESTIONS TO PONDER
1. How do you view God ordained authorities? What struggles might you have in obeying their leadership?
2. Have you ever rebelled against God's authority? Did you have other avenues you God have pursued? What would you do differently today?
3. Write a brief summary of your understanding of Hebrews 13:7 and 13:17. Does this change your opinion concerning God ordained leadership?
4. What two things should you do in response to godly authority according to 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13?