God is preparing to stir the hearts of the rebellious, prodigals and the backslidden. Get ready; they're coming home! The encouragement is for true believers to stand in the gap and persevere through prayer and worship while we wait, believing God will change hearts and grant repentance and new spirits to them.
Numbers 16 describes Korah's uprising. His act of rebellion is subdued and God delivers judgment. All who opposed Moses are swallowed up in the earth, like seeds buried in the ground. There is a particular prophetic insight locked in this passage concerning the rebellious that I want to focus on.
Korah's clan, the Kohathites, along with the Geshonites and Merarites, were priests from the tribe of Levi. They were holy and set apart for the task of managing the tabernacle.
The Kohathites had charge of caring for the most holy aspects within the tabernacle. The Gershonites managed the coverings while the Merarites had the task of maintaining the foundations of the tent of meeting.
We immediately see that different aspects of ministry share varying degrees of burdens. Some are called as covers, to serve and empower, while others are called to aspects that are more foundational and supportive. Many of these ministries can be overlooked and ignored.
This becomes a bit more interesting. You see, because the Israelites were constantly moving, they were required to set up and break down the tabernacle quite often, the labor wearying. The Gershonites and Merarites were given ox carts to help with the transport of their items; however the Kohathites, on the other hand, were required to transport their items on their shoulders.
The call brought a great burden, which may have contributed to Korah's rebellion. Imagine the mindset and attitude that was cultivated when he found himself breaking down and setting up continually. The exhaustion of carrying large heavy items through the desert; the inner dialogue of "This is not what I signed up for!" Bitterness and weariness soon became a rebellion that divided the camp and led to destruction. Korah lost sight of his purpose for the labor.
Behind every rebellious heart is something from which the heart is rebelling. For Korah, it was the honor to serve God. For many of us who have rebellious loved ones, we realize they too are on the run, not from unbelief but rather the call. You must not forget that your son or daughter, mother, father, brother or sister may in fact be in rebellion because of the call of God on their lives. Many missionaries, pastors and priests are on the run, but thanks be to God, who is faithful.
How does Korah's story become good news? In Psalm 46, you will find one of 11 psalms written to the sons of Korah. Numbers 26:11 (ESV) tells us, "But the sons of Korah did not die." From the ashes of rebellion and division rose a generation who not only picked up from a point of failure but regained a place in community and inspired psalms of praise and adoration.
Korah was swallowed up as a seed is planted, yet in the loss, a harvest of a righteous remnant was born. Don't lose confidence that God is moving among the rebellious—the promise is to our sons and daughters. We will see revival!
Aaron Rios is a worship artist, author and pastor residing in New England with a contagious passion for encouraging, equipping and inspiring believers to pursue their kingdom destinies for the cause of Christ.
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