Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20011226.htm
NUMBERS: ON SPIRITUAL CASUALTIES AND VICTORS
Part XV - Missing God's Blessing Through Not Recognizing God's Leadership Appointments
Lesson: One's authority over God's people is NOT to arise from DEMOCRATIC, POLITICAL or even CULTURALLY-aligned SOURCES, but from GOD'S OWN appointment as EVIDENCED by HIM in a supernatural way before His people (as in Moses' and Aaron's cases).
- In America, we the electorate choose our leaders to serve the will of us the people.
- Though this view of leadership works in a democracy, it is diametrically opposite what God calls us as believers to perceive of human leadership of His making. We will miss God's blessing if we assume a democratic mind set in viewing leadership this way, and this truth is revealed for us in Numbers 16:1-50:
- Missing God's Blessing Through Not Recognizing God's Leadership Appointments, Num. 16:1-40.
- Korah, a Levite, led a movement of the descendants of Jacob's eldest and presumably culturally most authoritative son, along with many politically renowned leaders in Israel to challenge the spiritual oversight of Moses and Aaron over them, Numbers 16:1-3a.
- Korah's movement adhered to the belief that since the entire congregation of the people of Israel were holy, Moses and Aaron had assumed too much authority in telling the rest of the people what to do, 16:3b.
- In reality, Moses and Aaron had been directly selected and evidenced by GOD to have their oversight:
- Exodus 3:7-10 records God's calling Moses to lead Israel out of Egypt and toward the Promised Land.
- Now, Moses was not at all swaggering in his assuming the role, for he even sought to avoid the leadership role by supplying God with various reasons why he should not lead, Ex. 4:1-13.
- In the end, God had arranged for Moses to lead Israel, and for Aaron to be his spokesman, Ex. 4:14-16.
- Ultimately, God had given supernatural evidence of Moses' oversight via his miracles, Ex. 4:29-31.
- Nevertheless, since Korah and his band were resolute in their objections of Moses and Aaron, Moses arranged for a test so the nation would know for sure just where the God-ordained authority lay:
- Moses immediately humbled himself before the Lord when Korah's band countered him, Num. 16:4.
- To settle the question of authority, Moses urged Korah and his company to take censers and put fire in them, and to approach the presence of God the next day for God to demonstrate which human entities' authority He approved, Numbers 16:5-7a.
- In reality, Moses claimed Korah had taken too much authority on himself, for he had not been content to be in "middle management" of leadership, but wanted to be the "top" authority, Num. 16:7b, 8-10. Indeed, Moses noted Korah was actually in rebellion against God as Moses and Aaron had been appointed by God to have their oversight, Numbers 16:11.
- Some of Korah's men were so rebellious against Moses they did not heed even Moses' directive regarding the censers, and chose to stay in their tents instead, Numbers 16:12. They complained Moses' authority was errant as the people had not entered the Promised Land as promised, 16:13-14.
- Though he was privately angry at how errant was this charge, Moses poured out his complaint of this false charge to the Lord, and waited for God to show His "vote" on the morrow, Numbers 16:15-17.
- In the test, God clearly demonstrated Moses and Aaron were His duly appointed leaders over the others: the rebellious leaders of Korah and his inner group were swallowed up by the earth, and fire from God burned up the rebellious 250 leaders with censers of those who had followed Korah, Num. 16:18-34, 35.
- Accordingly, God had the surviving censers taken and used to coat the altar with a covering of bronze as a reminder to the nation that His duly appointed priesthood was in Aaron under Moses, Numbers 16:36-40.
Application: (1) Those who GOD wants us to VIEW as having RIGHTFUL authority in the Church are those who are (a) recommended to lead by OTHER divinely-proven leaders (b) in accord with the criteria of Biblical character and (c) spiritual gifting evident to all, 1 Tim. 3:1-13. (2) Thus, we should follow ONLY those leaders who (a) have the Biblical character (b) AND Biblical gifting (c) coupled with the recommendations of other divinely-approved leaders. (3) Any OTHER criteria of authority is false, so we are NOT to FOLLOW those with such false criteria (political, cultural, democratic, etc.)!