SOAP Journal – 21 March 2017 (Numbers 16:20-22)

Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them instantly.”

But they fell on their faces and said, “O God, God of the spirits of all flesh, when one man sins, will You be angry with the entire congregation?”

Numbers 16:20-22

This exchange occurs during the rebellion of Korah. This Levite named Korah and a bunch of other pepole along with him decided that they were tired of Moses and Aaron being seen as unique. Korah and company somehow got it into their heads that Moses and Aaron thought that they were something special, instead of simply acting in obedience to God. God, after listening to these guys mouth off about Moses and Aaron, speaks this morning’s first verse.

God tells Moses and Aaron to put some distance between themselves and the Israelites. Judgment is coming and God wants those who have been faithful to be at a safe distance. As is so often the case, God speaks the words that will prompt action. Moses and Aaron hit the ground in immediate intercession.

And their intercession is effective. They appeal to God’s character; to Who He is and ask if God will be angry with everyone for one man’s sin. The answer, of course, is that He will not.

As the story progresses, Korah and his crew stand opposite Aaron and Moses and die pretty terribly. Korah and the leaders of this little insurrection are swallowed whole by the earth. The ground opens up and down those men go. Their followers — about 250 men who had been offering incense outside the tabernacle — were consumed by fire from the LORD. The metal from the censers those men had been using was pounded into sheets and applied to the altar as a reminder to the rest of the Israelites whom God had chosen to minister and whom God had not chosen.

This offers some application to me.

First, whom God has chosen, God has chosen. I cannot change the person whom God has chosen for a particular work. And, if I knew everything that person endures in the work, maybe I would not want to.

Second, I need to intercede; to go between those who need representation before God and the God Who wants to do good for them. A good friend of mine hypothesizes that God, in order to limit the influence Satan and his minions can have in this world, limited His own avenues of influence. My friend’s idea is that God erected a barrier between the physical world and the spiritual and made the only way of moving through the wall by invitation from the physical side. So God looks for people who have already invited Him to live within them and prompts us to pray; to invite God and His power into situations that need Him. Whether or not my friend is correct, my Master — Jesus Christ —makes intercession for me and every other believer all the time (Hebrews 7:25). And I should be doing as my Master does.

Father, thank You that Whom You have chosen You have chosen and no man can change that choice. Thank You for the privilege of prayer, though I do not avail myself of that privilege as often as I should. Please teach me to pray and to hear Your voice prompting me to intercede where You desire to act and show Yourself mighty.

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