Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Earth Swallowed Korah

By Mary Vee
Numbers 16:16-33

An Israelite Leader's Thoughts

Yesterday I watched Korah lead a group of our camp leaders to Moses. Even though I was a leader, he hadn't asked me to join the group. Perhaps he thought I wouldn't agree with his decision to overtake Moses' authority.  

After hearing him tell Moses that anyone from the camp could lead the Israelites, he chose right. I wouldn't have joined his group.


This morning Korah, Dathan, and Abiram along with the two hundred and fifty leaders who followed them brought golden containers called censers with incense and fire to the door of the Tabernacle. I crept near enough to hear, but not close enough to be part of the group.


Moses and Aaron joined them at the door. Aaron presented his golden censer with fire and incense. As the men stood before the Tabernacle the glory of the Lord came down on the Tabernacle.  

My heart beats wildly every time I see the cloud. To think, the glory of the Lord appears before us. I watched in silence, not knowing what the Lord would do. 


The rest of the camp crowded close to Korah's group to watch.  Moments later, the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron and they fell on their face shouting something like, "O God, will You be angry with all the people because of one man's sin?" The Lord spoke to Moses again, but I'm not sure what He said.


Moses leaped to his feet. He ran to us and shouted, "Get away from the tents of these wicked men! Don't touch anything of theirs or you'll be punished with Korah, Dathan, and Abiram."


Well, I ran like a rabbit with the others from our camp to a safe distance. I turned in time to see Dathan and Abiram bring their wives, sons, and children outside their tents. Moses raised his arms, with his staff in one hand and shouted, "By this you will know that the Lord has sent me to do His works: If these men die naturally, like all men, or have an accident like many men do, then the Lord has not sent me."


He raised his arms even higher and looked toward the sky. "But, if the Lord creates a new thing, and the earth opens its mouth to swallow these men with all their belongings, and if they're buried alive, then you will understand that these men have rejected the Lord."


Korah, Dathan, and Abiram laughed for one short moment. Then they stopped. The earth rumbled and rolled. I grabbed onto the boulder near me and watched the ground by Korah break apart. It split deep like I've never seen before. Korah and the others grabbed onto each other to steady themselves, but it didn't help.  


The crack grew deeper and wider until Korah, Dathan, and Abiram along with everything they had fell into the earth. 

Then as quickly as the rumble started, it stopped--and they were gone. 

Just--

--like

--that. 


****************************
1. Who told Korah and his followers to meet at the Tabernacle?
2. What were they to bring?
3. Moses said, "If_______________ then the Lord has not sent me."
4. Moses said, "But if the Lord _________ these men have been rejected by the Lord."
5. Why didn't the leader who told the story join Korah?
6. What did you learn from this story?

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