OT 2012: Num 16-17

Wow… a lot happened in our reading today.  In these two chapters of Numbers we see jealousy and false accusation.  The people are jealous of Moses and Aaron and the position of authority and leadership God has given them.  Even though Korah and his rebels are from the house of Levi –  themselves set apart from the every-day Isralite – this is not enough.  Instead of rejoicing at whatever position God has given them, they lust for more power and conspire to overthrow Moses & Aaron for hogging the spotlight.

Have you ever experienced something like this?  Someone confronts you with a false accusation.  The temptation to get angry is bubbling up inside you.  You desperately want to defend yourself and prove that this person is wrong and you are right.

Moses’ reaction to Korah and the 250 other men’s accusation is a model for us.  Does he yell back at them?  No.  Does he pick a fight?  No.  He falls on his face.

Moses, as we read in Num. 12:3, was the most humble man on the face of the earth.  He did not let his pride well up when someone opposed him – even when he knew they were wrong.  He falls on his face as a sign of his humility.  And then, instead of defending himself, he tells the people that God will show them what is really the case.

This is how we should respond when someone opposes us.  It’s easy to get angry or defensive and let your pride well up.  What’s hard is to humble yourself and give up your right to defend yourself.  Often, when someone is angered with you, defending yourself will not convince them to change their mind anyway.

What can produce great change is prayer.

Give it up to God.  Allow him to reveal to them who is in the right and who is in the wrong, just as Moses did.  But know this:  you probably won’t get the satisfaction of being proved right in front of your opponent.  But that’s good in the end because we tend to get even more prideful from that sort of thing.

What matters is you.  Do you use opportunities like this as a way to grow in your own faith and humility?  Or do you see them only as a chance to prove to someone else that you’re right and they’re wrong?