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  The Great Bible Story #39
Korah rebels

Jacob Ninan
Not having learnt from observing Miriam's mistake, Korah, Moses' cousin, rebelled against him along with Dathan, Abiram and On. Korah expressed his view that Moses was exalting himself over the people. He said that God was in the midst of Israel and that all the people were holy (set apart) for God. He wondered what made Moses think he was special! Two hundred and fifty leaders of Israel also took sides with Korah. When Moses heard this, he felt so hurt that he fell on his face in humility.

When he got up, Moses told Korah and his friends that God would show them by next morning who were really His. He asked them to take a censer each, put incense in them and burn them before God in the morning. He asked Korah if he was not satisfied with the responsibilities he had been given as a Levite but he wanted to be a priest also. When he called Dathan and Abiram they refused to come, asking Moses how he could lord it over them even after not being able to take them to Canaan.

The next morning, Aaron took his censer and stood with Moses, while Korah got together all the people against them. God suddenly appeared and told Moses and Aaron to move away so that He could destroy all the people with Korah. Again Moses humbled himself before God and pleaded with Him to be merciful to the people.

Moses then told the people to move away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram because God was going to bring destruction to them in an extraordinary way. The earth would open up under these three men and their families and they would be swallowed up into the depths alive!

As everyone watched, that was what happened. These three families and all that they had went down into the gaping hole that appeared, and then the earth closed up over them. All the people who saw this cried out in fear and rushed from the scene. God also sent fire from the sky and burned up the two hundred and fifty leaders also who had joined in this rebellion.

God asked Eliezer the priest, son of Aaron, to take up the censers of the people who had perished in the fire, and beat them up into sheets to plate the altar, to serve as a reminder that people should not take it upon themselves to serve God in whatever ways they wished.

But the next day the people grumbled against Moses for killing God's people! This time God sent a plague into the camp and thousands of people died. Aaron was just able to make atonement for them so that no more people perished.

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Comfort & Counsel