Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men; and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown. They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?”
Many people want to be known as leaders. Some are very capable of reaching their goal while others care deeply for the people in their charge.
The best leaders are both goal oriented and people oriented.
Korah was a big mouth, rebelling and leading the others to also rebel against Moses - accusing Moses and Aaron of exalting themselves above the Assembly.
Moses' first reaction when he heard this accusation was to fall on his face. He challenged these men. Korah did not realise that Moses' main ambition was to serve God rather than to control others.
Selfish ambition was Korah`s downfall. He was jealous of Moses' authority!
Inappropriate ambition is greed in disguise!
Moses said “Tomorrow morning the Lord will show who is His and who is holy, and will cause him to come near to Him. That one whom He chooses He will cause to come near to Him. Do this: Take censers, Korah and all your company; put fire in them and put incense in them before the Lord tomorrow, and it shall be that the man whom the Lord chooses is the holy one. You take too much upon yourselves, you sons of Levi!”
They were all questioning Moses' and Aaron's Leadership. They were not satisfied with what they were doing, the position God had placed them in. They thought they were capable of doing Moses' job, but God had not called them to that task. God had appointed Moses with special abilities. He had proven himself time and again to be the leader that God had called him to be.
Concentrate on finding the special purpose God has for you instead of wishing you were in someone else's shoes!
Read Numbers 8-12. Moses called for the sons of Eliab, but they refused to come, complaining that Moses had not led them into the land flowing with milk and honey as promised.
Read Verses 15-35. Moses was angry with them and asked God not to respect their offering. Then he turned to the congregation and told them to get away from Korah, Dathan and Abarim`s tents. To touch nothing of theirs.
(Resource: Application Study Bible)
So they got away from around the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram; and Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the door of their tents, with their wives, their sons, and their little children.
And Moses said: “By this you shall know that the Lord has sent me to do all these works, for I have not done them of my own will. If these men die naturally like all men, or if they are visited by the common fate of all men, then the Lord has not sent me. But if the Lord creates a new thing, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the pit, then you will understand that these men have rejected the Lord.”
Now it came to pass, as he finished speaking all these words, that the ground split apart under them, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods. So they and all those with them went down alive into the pit; the earth closed over them, and they perished from among the assembly. Then all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up also! And a fire came out from the Lord and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering incense.
God takes seriously the grumbling and complaining against His chosen leaders. We are to honour and respect those God has chosen to lead us!
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life.