Torah: Numbers 16:1-18:32 Haftarah: 1 Samuel 11:14-12:22 Brit Chadasha: 3 John 4-11
I want what I can’t have
This week’s portion usually causes some folks to walk softly. It is always interesting to see how our lives portray someone we usually read about. Let’s hope we aren’t Korah this year. See the weekly portions are prophetic in nature. Almost always you will find something in the portion that will relate to your life or can be related to your life. That is why I try to encourage folks to not wait around until the end of the week to read the portion but read it at the beginning of the week. This way you can be prepared for what is down the road. So let me say it once again my counsel is read the portion at the beginning of the week and don’t wait around because you will be able to find answers as to how to respond, react or be prepared for what comes your way. Being prepared can save you a lot of heartache and you can bypass many problems whereas if you aren’t prepared you have to deal with the situation in the moment and we being human usually respond based off of our emotions rather than rationally thinking it out or sleeping on it before you respond as Moshe demonstrates to us in this week’s portion.
First, let’s turn to Numbers chapter four for a moment.
“And the oversight of Elʽazar, son of Aharon the priest, is the oil for the light, and the sweet incense, and the daily grain offering, and the anointing oil, and the oversight of all the Dwelling Place and all that is in it, with the set-apart place and its furnishings.” And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, and to Aharon, saying, “Do not cut off the tribe of the clans of the Qehathites from among the Lĕwites, but do this to them, and they shall live and not die when they approach the most set-apart objects: Aharon and his sons shall go in and appoint each of them to his service and his burden. “They are not, however, to go in to watch while the set-apart objects are being covered, lest they die.” Numbers 4:16-20
The reason why is because it’s here where we can find some instructions to the Kohathites. We see that the Kohathites had the responsibility of carrying the utensils of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) after they had been covered by Aharon and his sons. Now they couldn’t just bust into the Mishkan nor could start taking things out of there without following a specific protocol. Before I get ahead of myself I would like to back up a bit and point something out. We can find something in Numbers four that I believe coincides with a concept taught in the Newer Testament.
For indeed the body is not one member but many. If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” does it therefore not belong to the body? And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” does it therefore not belong to the body? If all the body was an eye, where would be the hearing? If all hearing, where would be the smelling? But now Elohim has set the members, each one of them, in the body, even as He pleased. And if they all had been one member, where would the body be? And now, there are indeed many members, but one body. And an eye is unable to say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” But much rather, those members of the body which are thought to be weaker are necessary. And to those of the body which we think to be less respected, these we present greater respect. And our unseemly members have greater seemliness, whereas our seemly members have no need. But Elohim blended together the body, having given greater respect to that member which lacks it, that there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same concern one for another. 1 Corinthians 12:14-25
That concept is that there is one body but many parts to that body. The reason why I am bringing this up is because of what we see in this week’s portion of members of that body trying to step out of their role, place, and function in another function that clearly isn’t theirs. This causes problems within the body because what normally happens is when a certain member of the body doesn’t fulfill its role; it usually puts stress on other areas in which another member of the body has to double up and assume the responsibility of taking up the slack if you will.
I believe what we see here in the story of Korah is a great example and manifestation of jealousy, manipulation and chaos that ensues from these spirits. I might add we can see a type and shadow of the Anti-Messiah in the life of Korah as well but more on that later. I with sadness have to say that even today this ‘cancer’ is in the body not only in xtianity but in the Commandment keeping community as well. I have seen these spirits not only destroy individuals but also fellowships as well and it all started with folks wanting to step out of the place where Yah had placed them and assumes or usurps a position of power or authority. I can even take this a step further to say that in Revelation chapter verses six and fifteen Abba clearly lets us know how He feels about a Nicolaitan. Matter of fact it’s one of the things that the Creator ‘hates’. He hates for those in leadership to have a spirit or operate from a spirit where they are trying to conquer the laity or conquer those who they should be serving. Nicolaitanism is still in operation today as it was in this portion as well. Even look at the nation AmeriKa. AmeriKa meaning the post 9/11 military industrial complex takeovers that lead us to Corporatism (a form of Fascism mixed with the big boys of the Wall Street (Corporate AmeriKa)). I need to throw in here that we are all to blame in some certain aspects because of being asleep at the wheel but that’s for another time. Let’s get back to Korach.
The ruling authority
I’m never amazed at how we many times strive and fight for positions in the Kingdom and it doesn’t matter how many folks we have to step on or use them to catapult us to the top. I watched a TV series some time back which was set in medieval times and I was amazed at all the jocking for positions that the underlings were striving for. Everyone was looking to move up the ladder and if they had to step on someone then there was no thought for one second how the other person might have felt.
Well in my opinion we are seeing this today from the top of Gov. all the way down the line. I guess the saying truly applies, goes the head so goes the rest of the body. The Kohathites had a position. They were allowed the duty to carry the utensils but apparently that was not prestigious enough. They wanted more. They wanted to make a name for themselves. Well they did make a name for themselves but I don’t think it turned out quiet the way they wanted it to go.
See Korah felt he and his followers (Scripture says company but the Hebrew says people with the same testimony i.e. folks operating out of the same spirit) were more qualified than Moshe and Aharon. This is easily seen by his attitude but the Hebrew gives us the clear picture.
‘and you shall be to Me a reign of priests and a set-apart (Kadosh) nation.’ Those are the words which you are to speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl.” Exodus 19:6
The Creator uses the word Kadosh when he spoke to the church in Exodus 19. It is singular here meaning the nation as a whole. Well let’s look at another Scripture.
And Qoraḥ, son of Yitshar, son of Qehath, son of Lĕwi, took both Dathan and Aḇiram the sons of Eliyaḇ, and On, son of Peleth, sons of Re’uḇĕn, and they rose up before Mosheh with some of the children of Yisra’ĕl, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, called ones of the meeting, men of name. And they assembled against Mosheh and against Aharon, and said to them, “Enough of you! For all the congregation is set-apart (Kedoshim), all of them, and יהוה is in their midst. Why then do you lift up yourselves above the assembly of יהוה?” Numbers 16:1-3
Now you will not see this in the Americanized Hebrew of the Strong’s Concordance. You have to look at the actual Hebrew in the text and you will see that the word used is Kedoshim, holy ones. I believe he felt he could do a better job and that he was the man for the job now since I’m sure he had some spineless gutless cowards come to him behind closed tent openings and begin to build him up and speak words of affirmation and encouragement to him to assume the role that the Eternal was going to give to him. I would imagine that he heard things like Yah is doing something new and this Moshe has lost his ability to lead and we need someone like you qualified to lead and stand up to Moshe. I bet they even said if you will stand up to him we will have your back. We will stand with you and have your back so to speak. Well at least they did stand with Korah and didn’t run away with their tails between their legs.
What this word Kedoshim paints for us is that Korah instead of going with what the Father said in Exodus 19 in that the nation shall be set apart; he wanted to add his interpretation and I’m sure the interpretation mentioned in his ear by others. He tells Moshe that the congregation is Kedoshim or each individual was set apart; meaning that we have arrived and are on the cutting edge of things and shouldn’t be held back by anyone.
See the spirit that was guiding Korah had blinded him to something very important. Korah had forgotten or never truly learned that the priesthood was never put in place to usurp or rule over anybody but was created to minister to the needs of others and service. I believe Y’shua gave us a great example of this when He washed the feet of His disciples in John 13. When you get down to the nitty gritty those who don’t serve or aren’t servants will never be satisfied with what position they have. They will always want more because their attitude is what Yah does will never be enough.
And Mosheh said to Qoraḥ, “Hear now, you sons of Lĕwi: “Is it little to you that the Elohim of Yisra’ĕl has separated you from the congregation of Yisra’ĕl, to bring you near to Himself, to perform the service of the Dwelling Place of יהוה, and to stand before the congregation to serve them, and that He has brought you near to Himself, you and all your brothers, the sons of Lĕwi, with you? Yet you seek the priesthood as well? Numbers 16:8-10
Many believers will never be satisfied with what they have. The attitude of a true servant or bond servant is contentment in whatever state they are in but a usurper will always be looking for a way to get that last drop from the folks under them. Look at the increase of government over the years. It started out small with the amount of taxes they extracted and now look where it’s at and look where they want to take it to. Again, I will say it again when folks who aren’t servants are in places of leadership or want places of leadership; they will never be satisfied with what they have or have been given. Korah and his followers prove my statement and even others in the Scriptures such as Eli’s sons, King Saul, Ahab and Jezebel.
Folks it is my prayer that you and I never become like Korah or one his followers and if we do and end up coming to ‘power’; you better keep in mind what a man sows he reaps. So if you manipulated or bullied your way to authority or position there will be someone right in line behind you with the same spirit just waiting for the right time and opportunity to overthrow you. Why not be a people who are humble and lead from the manner in which we serve? If we humble ourselves in due time Yahweh will exalt us. There is no need to strive for a position. Matter of fact if a man gives us our place of authority or puts us into the position we have; then man can have us removed but if Yahweh has truly placed us where we are at then it is only Yahweh that can have us removed. So don’t be jealous because someone may get a little more attention than you do or you may deserve that promotion but someone else less qualified gets it. Continue serving where you are at and continue to obey the Father and in due time you will be exalted because you are truly a servant. We wear our importance on our shoulders, I believe a little too much.
Folks I know we say this all the time but it’s not about us and about Him. Forget about who does this or does that to us. Get the focus off of us, in my opinion we place too much importance on ourselves. Again it’s not about us. Let’s just do our part and live according to Scripture and what the Father chooses to do in our lives or how he chooses to use us then let’s be content with that. I know it hurts when folks drag our names through the mud. It hurts when the message that we bring is rejected but again it’s not about us. We have been bought with a price and if he chooses to spend us on a Coca Cola then so be it. I think if we were dead to self we wouldn’t worry what others are doing or saying or we wouldn’t make it an issue to defend ourselves to every situation that comes about.
When circumstances come about in my life; I’m the first to want to jump out in the flesh and deal with it but at the end of the day I have to come back down to earth and reality and realize I’m not a rock star or the top dog in the Hebrew Roots movement. I’m just a redneck from Louisiana named Joel so who cares who I am and honestly why am I placing such an importance on ME???? This is not to say we aren’t special and important in the Father’s eyes. We are but when it comes to us not getting the attention that we feel we deserve or wanting more authority or wanting fame and glory. Who are we really? When we walk in the attitude that Korach had placing all the attention on us and wanting more than what the Father has given us, then I see an anti-Messiah spirit at work. Korah manifested this spirit big time. Our culture teaches us that anti means opposite of something but the Scriptures teach us that anti means in place of something. So when you and I are adding to or taking away from the Father’s word, wanting to be lifted higher than the rest of the brethren, or wanting all the attention and focus to be on ourselves then we must take a step back to see if we have stepped out of our proper servant roles and stepped into a role we have created thus putting ourselves in place of what the Father has chosen for us. I think we all could meditate on this and take some time to get our lives in their proper roles.
It is my opinion that when we are in the wilderness of the people as Ezekiel 20 speaks of, we are going to see Korah situations all over again and folk’s lives will be at stake just as it was for Korah. I wonder if we could ask Korah today was it worth doing what he did, what would his answer be? We can only speculate, but I personally believe that he would tell us something along the lines of I thought I was the man and super important but found out that there was One way more important. Matter of fact there might be current leaders in the Torah observant movement that have been teaching Hebrew Roots for ten or thirty years that may become a Korah because Yahweh has given the place of authority to some ‘no name nobody out there’ because they are willing to truly serve. Who knows it may be other examples of lone rangers or rebels as I refer to them out there who think that their revelations are so cutting edge and that they should be Yahweh’s mouthpiece in the movement so they try to overthrow the servants of Yahweh in order to usurp what they consider their rightful place of authority. I see these folks come into paltalk rooms and begin to want to be teachers because they know a little Hebrew or have knowledge about a specific subject. Their attitudes are that they don’t have an opinion about anything because they know everything and therefore you must submit to what they are saying. Maybe they don’t receive enough attention at home or something? I am not sure but one thing is for sure you can tell what spirit is motivating folks not by their messages or words but by their actions. I am proud to say that I have seen firsthand several Messianic ministries from the States that have come down here on their own dime and given away material on their own dime and basically said this is my stuff take it preach it or even share it as it is your stuff. Their attitude is just getting the message out there and I don’t care if my name or ministry logo/name is on it. Who cares about fame and recognition just get it out there. This folks is an example of a servant and not a usurper of authority. May we all find ourselves on the opposite side of the ‘Korah’s’ and his followers that are out there not only today but in the future as we are preparing for the Kingdom. Remember the Korah’s, if you will, build their kingdom and the Moshe’s build the Kingdom of Yahweh. In the end only one Kingdom will prevail and you don’t want to find yourself on the side that is fighting against the Kingdom of Yahweh. It doesn’t turn out very well.