Vs. 3, “They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is with them. Why then do you set you.” If this were made into a movie, we would be on the edge of our seats! Anger, jealousy and envy drive Korah the Kohathite Levite into leading a rebellion (vs. 1-3). Previously (Numbers 14), there was talk of raising up a leader to go against Moses & Aaron. We see a well organized rebellion who have seem to have a legitimate beef; if we are all a holy nation (Exodus 19:6), why then are Moses and Aaron “holier” than us? Moses proposes a test to see whom God will support (vs. 4-7). The fact that Korah and the rebels followed through with the incense challenge is actually quite shocking. They were witnesses of the LORD’s consequences upon others; I suppose their pride overtook their judgment. We see the reality of collateral damage as Korah, Dathan and Abiram and their respective family members (women & children) are swallowed up in a supernatural earthquake (vs. 25-34). Additionally, the 250 followers are consumed by fire (vs. 35). God would use their censers as a gracious reminder to the remaining people not rebel against Him (vs. 36-39). Yet, this dis not stop the rebellious hearts; they continued to rebel (vs. 42-46). In a dramatic scene, Aaron stands between the living and the dead to intercede for God’s grace (vs. 48)! It is certainly a picture reminiscent of what Jesus did for us on the cross; for he is the great High priest, a perfect version of Aaron’s human position.
Regarding application…Playing with Fire. Vs. 18, “So each of them took his censer, put burning coals and incense in it, and stood with Moses and Aaron at the entrance to the tent of meeting.” Sin separates us from God. This was rebellious sin and they literally were playing with fire. Our human reasoning has a hard time reconciling God’s love with His wrath. God’s justice and wrath actually is a part of His love. What is the point of God’s grace and mercy if you are being wronged? It is a grave thing to go about life without the Lord a part of it. Let’s continue to fix our eyes upon the Lord!
Vs. 5, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.” Question: Who do we pray to? Our mediator, who is Jesus(vs. 5-7)! There will always be reasons that we must put our dependence upon the Lord. Therefore, Paul exhorted Timothy and the Ephesians to put prayer of the utmost importance (vs. 1-4). People in Ephesus had stopped praying for their leaders and for others. This is an important reminder as we remember our own leaders with the elections coming up. The section on women should not offend us. The Christian history was quite progressive when it came to women’s rights. But, Paul was addressing the inappropriate dress and behavior some of the women in Ephesus were displaying. The culture at the time was that women were not even considered a person in many regards. The freedom of Christ liberated their value. But, their response swung too far on the pendulum of exercising their freedom in Christ. Whether we are male or female, their certainly is credence to dressing appropriately to church. The last few verses in our chapter (vs. 11-15), have created some debate in the church. Does Paul only mean the unique situation to the women in Ephesus? What was the original meaning from Paul? Do women have the right to be Pastor’s and teachers in the church? There are two major views Egalitarian (liberal) and complimentarian (conservative). These are real questions and issues. We certainly live in a different time where many would not be hindered by women leaders like in Paul’s time. No matter what you think about it, don’t let a thing like this cause division in the church.
Regarding application…Godliness. Vs. 2, “…that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” Godliness is a repeated theme through Paul’s letter to Timothy. People were calling themselves disciples of Christ, yet their actions and heart were far from Godly. People had their own selfish attitudes about how they wanted to make church, rather than defer to Godly leaders and the Holy Spirit. Question: What is Godliness? Having reverence for God. It’s respecting God with fear and awe in realizing that He is the author of our faith. He is the one we surrender to. The more we turn in Godliness in prayer, the bible and fellowship, the more we can live a godly life. When people struggle in the church, one very common denominator is they are not spending time enriching their lives with the Lord and others. Let us be a people who live Godly lives.
Vs. 27, “Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.” The author of Hebrews continues to stress the importance of understanding that Jesus is superior to the priesthood of Aaron. Jesus is not only a priest but he is also a King! To expound upon Melchizedek….He was the priest who blessed Abraham after returning from a battle. He is considered by some scholars to be a supernatural figure forshadowing Jesus…while others believe it was Jesus himself. Going back to Aaron…the priesthood was not perfect…but Jesus’ priesthood is not only perfect, but eternal.
Regarding application…Intercession. Vs. 25, “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” The story of Jesus does not end at Easter…it’s important for us to realize that the story of Jesus did not end there. Jesus is alive (Amen?!)…and He sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for us! On the dictionary website “Onelook” it actually defines intercession as the act of intervening. Jesus intervenes/prays on our behalf. We have the wonderful opportunity to go on a missions trip and we are now starting fasting. As we fast, we implement intercessory prayer! We pray for others that God’s mercy and compassion would be upon them! Not only are we backed by the strength and prayer of other saints (Christians)…we are backed by Jesus! When no one else will stand up for us…Jesus will…he took one for all of humanity. So when life gets difficult and the road is unknown, always remember that Jesus is praying for you!