“The Rebellion of Korah”
Jude 11 reminds us that there will be three attitudes that will characterize last days’ false teaching: the way of Cain, (salvation by good works), the error of Balaam (reasoning that God cannot bless people unless they are without sin) and the gainsaying or rebellion of Korah (the disrespect and disregard for properly-appointed leadership). The last attitude has its basis in this portion from Numbers 16 and is practical in at least two ways: 1) to show how apostates will attempt to undermine divinely-appointed leadership and 2) to show even among the Lord’s people that disregarding and undermining the leadership of any local assembly is a serious sin and subject to the Lord’s discipline.
1. The Speed of the Problem. (v. 1)
There was no previous indication that this insidious movement was afoot. It involved Korah, a son of Levi (though not a priest) and Dathan and On (Reubenites) and 250 men of renown from among the congregation. It demonstrates to us that long before a problem may arise in any assembly, the work of undermining the leadership might be going on for some time as it did in NT times in the churches of
2. The Source of the Problem (vv. 1-3)
The source of the problem was Korah, a Kohathite, a group who had a very responsible position in the transportation of the materials of the Ark of the Covenant. (vv. 9-10; Num. 4) Dathan and On and 250 men also joined in the rebellion, yet another sin in the wilderness. The threat to leadership came from those who were the closest to leadership in the nation of
3. The Substance of the Problem (vv. 3-10)
The reason for the rebellion is seen in these verses: Korah and his companions were desirous of even more power and were envious of the leadership position occupied by Moses. They accused Moses of taking too much power to himself, (v. 3) when in actuality they wanted the place and prestige that was Moses and Aaron’s. They made it seem that Moses unduly exalted himself, when actually he was reluctant to accept the call of God upon him (Ex. 3). Their claim was that the nation was holy (v.3) intimating that they did not require a mediator in Moses and a priest in the person of Aaron.
4. The Solution to the Problem (vv. 5-18)
Moses after falling upon his face before the Lord called to Korah to come with his whole company with 250 censers to offer incense in the Tabernacle (v. 5). The offering that is accepted by the Lord would validate who are God’s true leaders (v. 7). Moses also calls Dathan and On who refuse to come to Moses—an indication of their very strong contempt for him. They use the same language as Moses did to cloud the issue and unbelievably charge him (not God) with bringing them out of