March 6, 2017. Numbers 26-27.
How sad to be in the embarrassing position of being singled out for the wrong you did. To be that student being pointed out in front of the whole class as giving an incorrect answer to the math problem presented to the class. As sad and embarrassing as that moment might be, how much worse when that moment is how you are remembered.
In one of those chapters of God’s word that begins with “take a census,” we move throughout the sons and families of Israel. We are given a list of the names of several generations and how many there are in each family who are “twenty years old and above.” But for two of the sons who are listed there is the editorial comment remembering their wrong. “
The sons of Eliab; Nemuel, and Dathan, and Abiram. This is that Dathan and Abiram, representatives of the congregation, who contended against Moses and against Aaron in the company of Korah, when they contended against the Lord.” (Numbers 26:9-10)
How sad and embarrassing to be remembered as some of the ones who contended against the Lord’s chosen leaders and thereby against the Lord Himself. To be specifically pointed out by family and name as having died because of this conscious decision. To be remembered as a sign, example or warning of contending against the Lord by contending against His leaders.
Too often individuals bring about destruction into their own lives and into their families because they contend against the Lord by contending against His leaders. Men the Lord has set over His people so that they may not be “like sheep which have no shepherd.” (Numbers 27:17)
To prevent a disastrous situation, like we see with Dathan and Abiram, the Lord gives to believers two commands concerning His leaders. Believers are to remember the word of God these leaders have spoken and follow the faith these leaders have in this word as they, as believers, consider or look attentively at the manner of life of these leaders. (Hebrews 13:7)
Believers are also commanded to obey, or more literally trust or be persuaded by those who lead them. And in doing so to submit or literally “resist no longer” these leaders. Leaders from the Lord with the mission to watch out for your soul so you are not like a “sheep with no shepherd.” (Hebrews 13:17)
Moses, Aaron, and Joshua (chosen at the end of chapter 27) were not perfect but they were chosen by the Lord to lead and shepherd His people, to watch out for their souls. No leader today is perfect, but they are chosen by the Lord to watch out for your soul by means of the word of the Lord. How well are you following these commands of the Lord concerning His spiritual leaders in your life? The result will be to be remembered by either the disaster in your life or the Lord’s blessing in your life. You get to choose.