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 companion reading (haftarah) is 1Sam. 11:14–12:22, recounting time when the people rejected the the LORD’s choice to lead through prophets and judges vs. kings.
The following are recorded studies and notes from Hallel Fellowship teachers Richard and Daniel over the years.
Numbers 16: Korah rebels against God’s anointed
The betrayal by Korakh (Korah) against Aharon (Aaron) mirrors the rejection of Yeshua the Mashiakh (Jesus) by leaders of Yisrael (Israel) at in the first century A.D. We can see a foreshadowing of Yeshua’s grace through Aharon’s reaction to the rebellion.
When we are not satisfied with the position God placed us and we covet someone else’s job or position, we are in grave spiritual danger. We may experience physical consequences for our rebellion, maybe not in the extreme manner recorded in Numbers 16–17, but God does not like complainers. Any insight we have about our condition comes from God.
“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.
There is a very special but blunt message in Numbers 18–19, targeted to the High Priest and his family. Moses is not addressed at all. God impresses upon the High Priest family and the Levites the seriousness of their charge. They are given certain rights within in the community of Israel but also gives them very serious responsibilities. God also places serious consequences on the High Priestly family and the Levites if they are derelict in their Temple duties.
Haftarah: 1Samuel 11:14–12:22
The “Snake” of Ammon picks a fight with Israel, giving Saul his first test as leader. His success cemented his authority. Yet some despising of him mirrors the rejection of Yeshua as God’s Messiah.
The leaders of Israel tell the prophet and judge Samuel to retire. This treatment is similar to the rebellion of the people against Moses.
The pattern we find in 1st Samuel is a pattern of preparing and delivering. He sends two witnesses for each delivery, a preparer and deliverer. We continue with this pattern with the beginning of Saul’s reign. These stories are not just history, or entertainment. The book of 1st Samuel also shows us how Sh’mu’el (Samuel), Sha’ul (Saul), Yahunatan/Yonatan (Jonathan) and David are a foreshadowing of the Messiah to come. This history helped the prophets see and reveal the Messiah to us.