June 16, 2017
To understand this Torah portion and the actions of Korach we really need to go back a bit. It was Miriam and Aharon who previously questioned the authority of Moshe in the camp. I could give a pretty good argument they were not the first to question Moshe, only the first to have it recorded. Though Moshe was confirmed through signs, wonders and the voice of Elohim, the Hebrews never really embraced him as their “Pastor/Shepherd.” If they truly embraced him in his role, the whole episode of the spies may not have taken place and instead of preparing for forty years in the wilderness this week they could have been walking directly into their destiny.
Korach was not a leader, he was an opportunist. He was a wolf dressed in sheep's clothing. What is sheep's clothing? He did not dress to look like a sheep, but a shepherd. Sheep give their wool to the shepherd to make a garment to keep the shepherd protected from the elements. Korach the wolf proclaimed himself to be a shepherd who could do a better job leading the flock than the one Elohim appointed and anointed, Moshe. He talked 250 men of Israel to follow him instead of Moshe. Not random men, 250 leaders!
Who was this Korach? We are told of his lineage, not much more. I think I have some ideas though. Korach was probably a bit taller than Moshe, a bit better looking. He was no doubt more charismatic in his delivery and could wow a crowd with his great knowledge and speech. His delivery was polished and flashy, well thought out and scripted. He was the total package that attracts men and women who follow by outward appearance. Who was he on the inside? He was power hungry, crafty and full of himself. His desire was self promotion at any and all costs.
Korach was the man some of the Hebrews wanted. This thought is supported by the crowds response after the very ground he was standing on split and he along with his cohorts fell to a very sudden death. The event was followed by an uprising in the camp against Moshe. The chant of the mob was “You have killed Adonai's people.” Really, this is the response! Korach along with his band of wolves are “Adonai's people”? Who appointed them? Not Yah!
This theme continues throughout Scripture with people desiring and following wrong prophets and kings. For a time they became their own leaders to themselves and did what was right in their own eyes. It culminated with those who condemned Yeshua to the execution stake. Read Isaiah 53:1-5 and in your mind compare the person prophesied of with the leaders the people chose.
The question I have is whether anything has changed today? Whether a rabbi is in the Land of Israel or a community in New York City, he is only a rabbi over those who desire him to be their rabbi. A pastor of a church is only the pastor to those who desire him to be so. A leader of a Messianic congregation is only the leader to those who desire him to be their leader. Many times it only takes one sentence a person disagrees with and off that person goes to find their new, more enlightened rabbi, pastor or leader. This is normally followed by seeking to verbally destroy their previous leader to justify their own actions.
Let me get back to the Torah portion. The rejection of leadership appointed by Yah caused a plague of death to break out in the camp. Of course we could never see this in our congregations, homes and families today, right? Sure about that? Are you willing to stake the wellbeing of your family on that answer?
How about we bring this down to where the rubber meets the road? Who do you have in your life that you will accept correction from and not run when a hard word is given? If a name does not come to mind then you may have set yourself up to be a leader unto yourself. This is not the pattern of Scripture. Who do you have outside of yourself that you can trust; you can call or meet with for honest, rigorous accountability? Do you have a Moshe or an Aharon you go to for advice and council? Are you sure that person or those people are after the spirit placed in Moshe and Aharon or are they more like Korach who will tell you what you want, to get what they want, a bigger donation?
The proof of leadership would come in the midst of the plague. Moshe and Aharon had every right to stand back and cheer as the people “Got what was coming to them.” Godly leadership does not celebrate judgment, but rather pleas for mercy when those they are called to lead fail the tests. Moshe and Aharon fell on their faces and called out for mercy for the very people who had rejected them. Aharon is even willing to run to the altar, take a coal and stand in the midst of the plague to stop the plague. He had no assurance his actions would stop the plague. As far as he knew, he was taking his last stand. Thankfully he was willing to give of his own life if needed to prove his love for people not worthy of that love.
Where are the leaders who today will stand between the living and the dead? They are probably not on flashy programs and videos hiding behind constant commercials for the latest teachings or sets of Paul and Silas salt and pepper shakers. They may be the least noticeable person like David in his shepherding days or a man like Moshe whose humility did not allow him to take center stage.
Pastors, leaders, shepherds are out there today. They are being raised up in our midst. In fact the question that may be holding many back from finding their Moshe, their Aharon is not a matter of where are they? I think the question is, if they were brought into your life today, would you follow them as they follow Him?
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