Editor's Note: This is part 2 of a two-part series. For part 1, click here.
This generation desperately needs Jesus! Many of us have been yearning to see revival in our time, and we are beginning to see hopeful glimpses that God is up to something. But are we, as a church, ready to steward a mighty move of God? Over the past few decades, we have all seen devastating scandals and theological compromises throughout the body of Christ that have clearly been detrimental to the gospel message in our day. Our lives and witness must change so people hunger for the one we represent, our Lord Jesus!
The Lord often speaks to me through the tragedies and triumphs of biblical characters. We all have our favorites, ones whose lives encourage us to fight the good fight and stand firm in our faith—like Joseph, David and Esther. They each fell short in some way, as we all do, but they humbled themselves before God, clinging to His promises, and God used them mightily in leadership in their generation.
In my last article, we talked about those who didn't fare so well, such as Cain and Balaam. Today, I want us to consider Korah's similar path.
Korah was a Levite and first cousin to Moses and Aaron. He suffered under the Pharaoh's cruel slavery, saw God's power on display as Egypt experienced the Exodus, walked through the Red Sea, ate the manna and quail God provided, drank water from the rock, followed the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night, trembled before God's thunder at Mount Sinai, saw the tablets Moses brought down from the mountain and heard the Law He had given. As a Levite, Korah and his clan were chosen by the Lord to guard the entrance to the tabernacle and help minister to the community. So he knew some of the weight of responsibility that Moses and Aaron experienced.
But when the Israelites first arrived on the edge of Canaan and believed the spies' report that they were as grasshoppers before the people of the land, Korah was among them. Because of their grumbling and unbelief, God banished that generation from their inheritance and sent them back into the wilderness. Moses and Aaron had to break the bad news to the people. That did not go over well! Some of the people rebelled further and tried to fight their way into Canaan anyway. They were soundly defeated.
Moses and Aaron, at God's command, then began preparing the younger generation for their eventual entry into the Promised Land; and life in the wilderness resumed.
Korah did not like what was going on so instigated a rebellion to usurp Moses' and Aaron's authority. Even though he had just seen the disastrous outcome of rebellion against God, Korah believed he would be a better leader than Moses and Aaron. Korah took his rebellion to the very entrance of the tabernacle—the place he was tasked with guarding!
His rebellion cost his own life, as well as the lives of over 14,700 Israelites that followed him.
Korah held a highly esteemed position among the Israelites. But that was not enough for him. He despised his post and wanted more authority. He undermined Moses and Aaron among the people, sowing discontent. He wanted a bigger leadership position. But God said no and destroyed him along with his followers. How many times have churches split, ministries been undercut or godly leaders been maligned because someone felt their giftings or anointing should take precedence right away? Division in the body of Christ brings shame on the name of the Lord.
As followers of Christ, we must serve with joy where God places us. Moses was a shepherd in the desert for 40 years before God made him a leader. David had a similar journey. They learned humility, contentment and obedience in those times. Daniel explains that God "changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up king" (Dan. 2:21a). No matter how skilled or anointed we think we are, it is God who determines if, where and when we, His servants, step into positions of leadership. Trust Him to fulfill His Word about your future. We must love God more than power or position.
The Way of the Wicked Versus the Way of the Righteous
Cain, Balaam and Korah each had opportunity to have a tremendous godly influence in their generation. But instead of doing things God's way, they rebelled. The psalmist lays out clearly the choice before us:
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
nor stands in the path of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
that brings forth its fruit in its season;
its leaf will not wither,
and whatever he does will prosper.
The ungodly are not so,
but are like the chaff
which the wind drives away.
Therefore the ungodly will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the ungodly will perish (Ps. 1).
As followers of Jesus, we must reject all forms of wickedness, carnality, greed and deceit.
To steward the revival we are all longing for, we must walk in the way of the righteous. Humility, honesty, obedience and honor are all hallmarks of the righteous. Jesus taught his disciples to "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness" (Matt. 6:33a) and to "love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind" (Matt. 22:37b, Mark 12:30a). It seems like a simple message, but apart from the Spirit, it is hard to set aside our carnal desires for His higher purposes—to take up our cross and follow Him—especially when times get tough. If we follow the way of the wicked, our lives will end as a warning like Cain, Balaam and Korah. But if we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives and follow the way of the righteous, our legacy and influence can be like Joseph, David, Esther and others who found favor with God. That is what our generation needs, those who will truly die to self and live for Christ.
Jodie Chiricosta serves as the vice president of Somebody Cares America/ International. Through her more than 25 years of experience in disaster response, humanitarian relief and development with Operation Blessing and Somebody Cares America/Intl. as well as her continual involvement in a variety of community service and international outreach activities, she has long been an agent of positive change. Listen to Jodie's guest podcast episodes on "A Word In Season with Doug Stringer" on the Charisma Podcast Network.
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