6 Minute Read

TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

Numbers 15:17–16:40
Mark 15:1-47
Psalm 54:1-7
Proverbs 11:5-6

TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Numbers 16:3 (CSB): They came together against Moses and Aaron and told them, “You have gone too far! Everyone in the entire community is holy, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the Lord’s assembly?”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

As you read Numbers 16, you realize that there was a serious uprising. The Israelites, led by Moses and Aaron, were at some undesignated place in the wilderness. The grumbling Israelites had repeatedly said that they wanted to go back to Egypt – they simply lacked a leader. Now, they had a leader in Korah.

But, as we read Numbers 16, we realize that God killed the rebellious mob. In fact, we are told that the ground opened up and swallowed the perpetrators and their families.

So, what exactly was Korah upset at? What grievance did he have with Moses and Aaron?

Numbers 16:3 (CSB): They came together against Moses and Aaron and told them, “You have gone too far! Everyone in the entire community is holy, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the Lord’s assembly?”

If we listen to the allegations, we learn that this was a problem with leadership and the authority to lead.

It was alleged that the people of Israel were on wonderful terms with God and that their God was so comfortable with them that He had settled down in their midst. Therefore, it was made clear that Moses and Aaron should stop their confrontation of Israel’s supposed sins and quit expecting Israel to follow their leadership.

But, these allegations failed in a few areas:

  • Israel was repeatedly in sin … and God stayed angry at them and their sin. Therefore, Moses and Aaron were right to address that sin and call the people to repentance.
  • Israel needed a leader … and God had placed Moses and Aaron into the position of leadership over them. Therefore, Moses and Aaron were right to expect Israel to follow and obey. For the Israelites to refuse Moses and Aaron’s leadership was to refuse God’s choice.

While the New Testament church is not a replacement for Old Testament Israel, there remain some comparisons. There are certainly some principles that carry over.

That being the case, let’s make the following observations:

  • Just as the Israelites, many believers who are far from the Lord, believe themselves to be on great terms with God. It is a fellow believer’s job (in general) and a Pastor’s job (in particular) to point out sin and call for repentance (Colossians 1:28-29; 2 Timothy 4:2; etc.).
  • Just as the Israelites, many believers (or psuedo-believers) will resent pastoral authority even though submission to authority is one of the signs of being Spirit-filled (Ephesians 5:18,21). Oftentimes, the Pastor’s authority is called into question or flat out resisted. But, God has set up the office of Pastor, and the church has called the Pastor to lead them as they all submit to the authority of Christ (Acts 20:28; Hebrews 13:17; etc.)
  • Yet, God had ordained that Moses and Aaron, flawed as they were, to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land. So, too, has God ordained that Pastors lead the flock of God toward holiness (Ephesians 4:1-16; 1 Peter 5:2).
  • Just as Moses and Aaron were sinners and received the consequences of their sin (Numbers 20:11-12), so should a Pastor be held accountable by his congregation for his errors and sin (Acts 17:11; 1 Timothy 5:19-20).

Friend, God has determined that Pastors/Shepherds are to lead Jesus’ churches. The Pastor is to submit to the authority of Jesus, recognizing that his ability to lead is also bestowed upon him by the church. But, it is a call to lead, nonetheless.

His leadership is to focus primarily upon health and growth. He knows that everyone under his authority will one day stand before Jesus and be judged. So, he preaches, he teaches, he encourages, he confronts, he loves, … all for the purpose of helping people get ready for the Day of Judgment.

So, if your pastor is in sin or if he is harming the congregation by not fulfilling his biblical roles in a biblically approved way, then he needs to be confronted. He needs to be called to repentance (which means he owns his error/sin and makes the necessary adjustments).

But, if your Pastor is regularly preaching the truth and fulfilling his duties as outlined in Scripture, then don’t be like Korah. Don’t resist his God-given, church-bestowed authority. Follow your spiritual leadership. Support him. Help him so that he will be able to receive much happiness/joy in being your Pastor rather than being overwhelmed with grief, stress, and many other negative emotions.

Hebrews 13:17 (CSB): “Obey your leaders and submit to them, since they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account, so that they can do this with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”