There are no shortcuts to holding a position of authority in God’s kingdom. People who try to take shortcuts to greatness will not prosper in the end. Just as Aaron and Moses are examples of how God and Yeshua interact with each other, Korah is an example of the “spirit of antichrist” (1John 4:3).
Jealousy vs. contentment. Covetousness vs. peace. Humility vs. pride. This continual battle against short-sighted self-will and trust in the LORD’s over-the-horizon view underlies the rebellion against Aharon (Aaron), God’s anointed, led by Korakh (Korah) in this week’s reading — קֹרַח Korakh, Leviticus 16–18.
This foreshadows the rebellion against the ultimate of God’s Anointed, Yeshua the Mashiakh (Jesus).
The Torah reading קֹרַח Korakh/Korach is a study in what it means to rebel against God and opens a window into the destructive power of antichrist.
“That’s not fair!” The impulse to feel jealousy and resentment for seemingly being unjustly passed over for promotion, rewards, privilege, talent, looks, opportunity, etc. is what we battle against from cradle to grave. And the battle Moshe (Moses) and Aharon (Aaron) faced with fellow leaders of Yisrael (Israel) and of Levi parallels the jealousy Yeshua the Mashiakh (Jesus) faced with leaders of Yisrael and why they plotted to kill Him.
- How is this chapter connected to chapter 16?
- What is the significance of the almond tree in this chapter?
- Why are almonds depicted on the flame cups of the menorah (seven-branched candlestick in the Tent of Meeting)?
- Why did God have all the leaders submit an almond wood staff for the “test”?
- How many rods were submitted?
- What were people grumbling about in this chapter?
- Who did they see kill Korah and his family in chapter 16?
- How might the specter of death over any misstep from God’s commands have affected the morale and attitude of the people?
- How does Aharon (Aaron) compare to the other Levites?
- Why did God set up Israel as a theocracy rather than a democracy?
- To Moshe (Moses)?
- To the leaders?
- Why was only Aharon — one person — chosen among the choices of all the people of Israel, as Miriam and Aharon argued in Numbers 15 and then Korah in Numbers 16?
- Why is YHWH the only One — the only God — among all the אלוהים elohim (Hebrew for “gods” or “powerful ones”) to be cherished and worshipped in the world?
- Aren’t autocratic governments backward and totalitarian?
- How does accountability factor into the discussion?
- How were the American ideal of division of powers exemplified in the relationship between the LORD, Moshe, Aharon and between the Father and Messiah Yeshua?
- Has God spoken directly to Aharon (Aaron) before?
- Why was Aharon responsible for the sins of all Israel?
- What does that picture?
- For what is Messiah Yeshua responsible?
- What were the Levites supposed to receive from the people, and what were they to do with it?
- How were Yeshua’s disciples related to Him that is similar to Aharon’s relationship to the other Levites?
- Is Aharon better than everyone else in getting to eat the “best of the best” of the offering?
- What does he do that warrants those gifts?
- What does Aharon’s rod’s budding picture in relation to the position and mission of Yeshua the Messiah?
- How are Aharon and Yeshua similar?
- Why is such an important message buried in such seemingly archaic instructions?
- What do we give to the “priesthood,” or our High Priest, Yeshua the Messiah?
- How should we approach the gifts we give our High Priest per the “best of the best” principle in this chapter and Romans 12?
- How were the roles of the priests and the apostles similar in their mission related to the gifts the people present?
- After reading Numbers 16–18, what is the combined message of the stories and commandments therein?