BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 21, Day 5: Romans 5:6-11; 6:23; Ephesians 2:1-10

Summary of passages:  Romans 5:6-11:  Christ died for the ungodly, demonstrating God’s ultimate love for us.  We are now justified by Christ’s blood, saved from God’s wrath, and reconciled to God through Jesus.

Romans 6:23:  “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Ephesians 2:1-10:  We were dead before Christ’s sacrifice as we followed Satan and his ways and sins, making us objects of God’s wrath.  Then God made us alive through Christ because of His love, grace, and mercy for us through faith in Jesus.

Questions:

10a)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  God has provided us His Son so that we may live forever with Him.  I’ve accepted it and honored God with my life and being.

b)  Although we were sinners and completely undeserving of grace and mercy, God sent His Son to the cross to die for our sins so that we may become righteous before God.  All God asks is faith in His Son.  Those who believe are saved.  Those who don’t believe are not saved.  That is God’s justice and mercy.

11)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  To devote your life to Him and for Him and His people.  We are to walk in the light and confess our sins and ask God to forgive us every single day.  Let His mercy flow through us and from us to others.  I will show mercy to all as Jesus did.

Conclusions:  Could have been called the “Study of Romans” for the day.  God has forgiven us permanently with His Son, Jesus Christ.  All we have to do is accept Jesus as our Savior and live for God. Simple, right?

End Notes:  Romans 5:6-11:  Jesus died for all of us, the ungodly.  The difference between righteous and good here seems to be the righteous man does not care for others but only about himself; whereas, the good man is kind and benevolent towards others.

Ephesians 2:1-10:  Paul wants us never to forget where we came from:  death and sin to life and salvation.  We should feel different being alive in Christ than when we were dead in sin.  Here, we have past, present, and future:  God loved us so much He sent His Son to make us alive in Christ and live eternally with Him forevermore.  All through faith and God’s gift to us.

God’s workmanship.  What an amazing thought!  We are God’s creation.  One Greek translation uses the word poiema which is a poem.  We are God’s poems and poems are beautiful works of art.  How cool!

Now we are to do good works out of our faith, not to earn anything.

Conclusions to Lesson 21:  I groaned most of the time doing this lesson, especially Day 4 which was a repeat of last year’s Study of the Life of Moses.  This could be called “The Study of Romans” for this week.  Not for sure how this lesson will bolster my understanding of the Book of Revelation.  This was a study of God’s character, His justice and mercy, which is prominent in all the books of the Bible.  What I want to gain out of the study of Revelation is just that:  the study of “Revelation”, the End Times, the signs I need to be on the lookout for, the coming wrath, the impending doom for the unsaved whom I may be able to help save (although God is ultimately in charge of that).

Like I said before, Revelation is only 22 chapters so BSF is stretching this study.  This is a filler lesson, plain and simple.  I just wish we could have filled it with more of in-depth study of Revelation.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 21, Day 4: Exodus 32; 34:4-7

Summary of passages:  Exodus 32:  While Moses was up on the mountain, the people became afraid and asked Aaron to make them new gods to go before them since something probably happened to Moses on the mountain. So Aaron took all the gold earrings from the people and made them into a golden calf as their new god. Aaron made an altar to the calf and made sacrifices to it. Then they had a party.

God told Moses to go down off the mountain as the people have become corrupt. God was so angry He told Moses to leave Him be so that He could destroy them and find a new people. Moses pleaded for the people, saying the Egyptians would only gloat if God killed them. Moses reminded God of His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Israel and to make their descendants as numerous as the stars. So God relented and did not destroy the people.

Moses went down Mount Sinai with the Tablets in his hands. Joshua had waited for Moses on the mountain a bit away and he thought there was a war going on. Moses said it was singing. Moses was so angry when he saw the sin of the people that he threw the tablets down and they broke. He burned the calf and made the Israelites drink the powder it made. Moses asks Aaron how he let the people sin. Aaron tells Moses the story, but blaming it on how evil the people are and how a calf just “came out”.

Moses was not pleased that Aaron had made the Israelites a laughingstock to the world. Moses asks whomever is for God to come to him. The Levites come. God told the Levites to kill everyone else who is not for the Lord and they killed about 3000 that day. They will now be set apart and blessed for their loyalty to God.

Moses goes up to the Lord again to plead for the people’s forgiveness, saying to blot him out of the book if God does not forgive them. God says He will but when the times comes for punishment (judgment), He will punish them and blot them out of His book. He struck them with the plague as punishment (death of 3000).

Exodus 34:4-7:  Moses chiseled out 2 stone tablets and went up to Mount Sinai.  The Lord came down from a cloud and proclaimed His name and passed in front of Moses, proclaiming His compassion, love, forgiveness, and judgements.

Questions:

8a)  God at first wants to kill all the people.  Moses convinces him not to.  He asks for those who will stand for God and all the Levites rallied.  Then the Levites killed 3000 people for not turning back to God.  Moses again asks for forgiveness, which God grants some but He sends a plague upon the people, killing more.  God judges some and spares some.

b)  God relented because Moses asked him to.  Jesus asked God to spare us and he died for our sins and God did.

c)  No.  They all deserved death but only some received it.  God showed mercy.

9)  This is the ultimate show of judgment and mercy.  God is in control and He decides who pays the penalty and who is forgiven and who had turned to Him in their hearts.  God is great.

Conclusions:  We studied Exodus 32 in Lesson 11 last year for one whole week and answered very similar questions on how Moses interceded for the people just like Jesus did/does for us today.  Think this is redundant and unnecessary for a study of the “book of Revelation.”

End Notes:  Exodus 32:  This calf was probably small (only a few inches high) lifted onto a pedestal for the people to see. It was not huge like depicted in the movies.

Some translations say Moses was “delayed”. This was a test for the people and their faith which we failed. This is a lesson for us: how do we handle God’s delays in our life? Do we fall into sin like the Israelites here or do we grow in our faith and strength in Him?

The not knowing drove the people to act. How many times have we acted in the midst of our fear of the unknown?

Scholars say calf is not the best translation here: it is meant to be a bull in the prime of its life–full of strength and vigor.

Aaron was a follower, not a leader. He was weak.

Aaron still remembered the Lord here (verse 5) but God was not sufficient; they needed an image to worship.

Note how the people rose early to worship the calf. Most people only get up early if they have to–work–or if it’s something important to them. What do you rise early to do? Is it to worship God first thing in the morning or do your BSF homework or read God’s Word? You all know I post these things very early in the morning. It’s important for me to meet God early in my day or I will fall into sin. I also get up early to exercise, write books, read books, and have “me” time. I also have “me and God” time. Consider how you spend your early mornings and ask God how He wants you to spend yours.

Revelry here is sexual revelry.

God is disowning His people by calling them Moses’s people. He wanted to start over with Moses.

“Stiff-necked” was a common phrase in Biblical times that refers to ox that won’t move. It references stubbornness in man.

Moses pleaded with the Lord for mercy, grace, His glory, and His promises and goodness.

God knew He wasn’t going to destroy the people. He was developing Moses and His heart for the people as He does often in us.

Joshua is correct: there was a war going on down below–a spiritual war.

It is Moses’s anger that will keep him from the Promised Land (Numbers 20:10-12). It is a problem he has all his life.

Aaron has no idea how great his sin was. He tries to calm Moses down and then lies to Moses about his part. He tries to make it seem as if a miracle produced the calf when it reality it was his hands, his workmanship. Why one would lie to the man closest to God ever is beyond me but Moses doesn’t buy Aaron’s excuse at all.

Even now in sin Aaron is defiant. Little did he know how close to death he was (Deuteronomy 9:20).

Other translations say the people were “unrestrained”. Basically, they had no moral compass and were following whatever made them feel good. Hence, their hearts were hard and they paid the ultimate price.

The Levites were the only group who decided, acted, and separated for God. So we must as well.

Stand for God, or you stand for nothing.

Moses understood the gravity of the people’s sin so asks for forgiveness again, even offering himself as a sacrifice, sensing that an animal’s blood would not suffice. God says no because He knows Jesus is coming. I want such a sacrificial heart. Moses appeals to God’s grace and mercy. Still, God’s punishment is that none of these adults will see the Promised Land.

Exodus 34:4-7:  This description of God became the cornerstone for the Jews as the most profound statement of God’s nature.

As Christians, knowing God as Moses knew God–His character–should be our highest striving.

Fun Fact: Exodus 34:6-7 is the most alluded to passage in the Old Testament.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 21, Day 3: Romans 1:18-32; 3:10-20

Summary of passages:  Romans 1:18-32:  God is revealing His wrath against mankind.  God’s nature has been clear since creation, giving man no excuse not to know Him.  Man chose to worship idols and so God gave man over to his sinful nature including lust and unnatural relations with one another, evil, wickedness, depravity, greed, slanderers, God-haters, etc.

Romans 3:10-20:  Paul says no one is righteous on their own.

Questions:

5a)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  The natural traits are sinful:  wickedness, idol worshipers, lustful, evil, greedy, deceitful, malicious, slanderers, God-haters, ruthless, faithless, heartless, etc.  It’s always a struggle to overcome sin and these sins pop up throughout life.

b)  God’s wrath and death because man is a sinner against God.

6)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  All sin prompts the wrath of God.  Mine would be jealousy, meanness, spiteful, vengeful, and probably every other sin.

7)  Because no one wants to think they are wrong and they have to pay consequences for their actions. People want to do whatever they want to do and are inherently selfish and ambivalent towards others.

Conclusions:  Struggled with this lesson.  Questions broad and intuitive.  Lesson 20 Day 5 led into this lesson.

End Notes:  Romans 1:18-32:  The wrath of God is not human anger.  The wrath of God is righteous and is against that which has twisted  God’s holiness.

Man has suppressed the truth of God and twisted it.  We have become fools with dark hearts.

“God gave them over” is repeated three times here.  Basically, God lets us do what we want to do–which is sin.  How tragic!  It is God’s wrath that allows us to sin, not God’s mercy or grace.

The lie is the lie that we are God.

Paul is writing this from the city of Corinth, known for its sexual immorality and pagan prostitution in the temples.  Surgeon refused to read this passage out loud, so horrible did he think the sins were.  Here is homosexuality condemned for both men and women.  Paul uses the Greek words for male and female to show just how outside human relations these acts are.

In Rome, homosexuality was rampant and most emperors and Roman citizens (those with money) used boys in this way.  The penalty will come.

“Depraved” mind used to read “reprobate” or “debased”.  It meant those that did not stand the test and were therefore rejected.

Actions and thoughts commit sins.  All deserve death.

Romans 3:10-20:  Here, Paul explains through Psalms our complete inability to save ourselves.  No one is righteous and not one seeks God–man seeks himself.  Every part of man is guilty and no one fears God.  The law cannot save man; the law only gives man the knowledge of sin.

Historical Note:  It’s interesting to see how some of the giants of theology were transformed by this passage in Romans.  Augustine, Martin Luther, John Calvin, and John Wesley all credit Romans (Paul) with their salvation and their grasp of God.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 21, Day 2: Various Passages

Summary of passages:  Various passages for the day.

Questions:

3a)  Justice is what is morally right and fair and mercy is compassion or forgiveness shown towards someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.  In the United States and most of the developed world justice is administered through the nation’s government and court system.  This is positive as this is what the Bible tells us to do (Romans 13:1-5; 1 Peter 2:13-17) and it takes the responsibility out of the hands of the individuals where justice is much more subjective to the crime.  This is negative in places where people do sin and take justice into their own hands by committing murder, etc.

Mercy is more individual with people showing mercy towards others when they have been wronged.  Hence, we see this everywhere.  This is positive because people are more merciful than government who have to follow the law.  This is negative when people don’t show mercy.

b)  Exodus says God forgives wickedness, rebellion, and sin.  Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished.  John 3 tells us God showed mercy when He sent His only Son to die for our sins.  Peter says God is patient to allow everyone to repent in His mercy.  I think the court system is the best system for justice man can come up with.  It takes the subjectiveness and emotion out of it and puts everyone on an equal playing field by knowing the consequences of their actions BEFORE they commit the sin.  And this is equivalent to God’s as well since we know the repercussions of our sins and since God tells us to submit to authorities, it’s what we do.

God’s mercy is obviously infinitely greater than man’s, but we follow Jesus’ example as best we can and show mercy to others.  We can do this by sharing the gospel and showing the ultimate mercy as we try to save souls for eternity.

4)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I have been shown the ultimate mercy by being amongst the chosen to accept Jesus as my Savior.  Being born in the United States during modern times is justice to me since we do have laws that protect us and a civilized society.  I am more merciful to others because of Jesus and I try to be just to others as well because of Jesus and because of what is right and wrong.  Jesus is the ultimate administrator of justice and if I’ve been wronged, I give it to him to deal with.

Conclusions:  Not looking forward to this lesson as we take ANOTHER break from Revelation. These are the weeks I just want to skip.  This lesson has no passages to read from the Bible except in 3b.  It’s all personal opinion and what is justice and mercy and where we see it in today’s world.  This plays off of the last question from last week in Lesson 20, Day 5 where we were asked how can God be both love and wrathful.  He loves us so much He avenges His people and punishes His people when they disobey.  This is the ultimate sign of love and compassion and mercy.  He could let us run amok like wild animals, killing and tearing each other to shreds.  Instead, we exist for Him.

End Notes:  Exodus 34:6-7 where God describes Himself is the most quoted or alluded to passage in the Old Testament.  It’s a profound summary of God’s nature.  He is love, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, and punisher.  He is everything.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 21, Day 5: Numbers 17-19

Summary of passages:  Numbers 17:  In an effort to end future rebellions, God told Moses to get 12 staffs, one from each leader of the tribes, put them in the Tent of Meeting, and God will make the staff of the one He chooses sprout.  Aaron’s staff sprouted, bloomed, and produced almonds.  God told Moses to put Aaron’s staff in front of the ark as a reminder to the people of His choice.

Numbers 18:  God told Aaron he and his sons were responsible to bear the offenses against the sanctuary and the priesthood.  The Levites are to help Aaron but not go near the furnishings of the Tabernacle or the altar.  Aaron is responsible for the care of the sanctuary and the altar.  God gives the priests a portion of the sacrifices for their consumption including meat, olive oil, wine, and grain.  Everything.  They are to receive no land.

The Levites are to receive the tithes for their work but are to give a tenth of that to God, which goes to Aaron.

Numbers 19:  God commands Eleazar the priest to sacrifice a red heifer without defect, sprinkle its blood in front of the Tent of Meeting, and burn it up.  The ashes are to be gathered up for use in the water of cleansing to be purified of sin–specifically to be used when touching a dead body, removing a dead body, or touches a human bone or grave.  If the person does not cleanse themselves, they are to be cut off from the community.

Questions:

10a)  God told Moses to get 12 staffs, one from each leader of the tribes, put them in the Tent of Meeting, and God will make the staff of the one He chooses sprout. Aaron’s staff sprouted, bloomed, and produced almonds.

b)  Here, God wants to end all rebellion against Him.  The responsibility of the high priest is to atone for the people and make them right with God.  Every high priest is selected by God to administer such an important role.  Jesus was selected by God to be our forever high priest and atone for our sins.  God chose Jesus like He chose Aaron.  It shows God’s keeps His promises to man.

11a)  They were responsible to bear the offenses against the sanctuary and the priesthood. Aaron is responsible for the care of the sanctuary and the altar.

b)  God gives the priests a portion of the sacrifices for their consumption including meat, olive oil, wine, and grain.  The priests also received the firstborn, which would usually be redeemed with money.  The Levites are to receive the tithes for their work but are to give a tenth of that to God, which goes to Aaron.

12)  Personal Question.  My answer:  That the Israelites were to use the ashes of a dead animal to cleanse themselves of touching a dead person.  That death cleansed death.  Like Jesus.

Conclusions:  The Hebrews passage is a long one.  Focus on Hebrews 7:11-8:6.  Questions 12 was a throw away in my opinion.  A waste.  Didn’t learn anything from it.  A question on the symbolism of Jesus here would be more edifying.

The lengths God goes to just for us is amazing.  He does all these miracles just to save us from ourselves.  Love is everywhere here and anyone who doubts God’s love for them should read Numbers 13-17.

End Notes:  Numbers 17: The staff is a symbol of an apostle’s Godly-authority over the people.  We see this since God gave Moses the staff of God (Exodus 4:17, 20).

The grumbling is an indication of the heart.  God here is giving them one more chance to show His sovereignty.  After this, judgment only.

God gives us more than enough as evinced by the blossoming of the staff.

Jesus is of the order of Melchizedek and thus is our high priest.  We studied this either in Acts or Matthew I can’t remember.

Note there are now three things in the Ark:  The Ten Commandment tablets, manna, and now Aaron’s staff.

The people are definitely afraid now and realize the severity of their sin.  But are their hearts changed?  We shall soon find out!

Numbers 18:  God grants Aaron authority and accountability.  They always go together.

Salt was considered pure and unchangeable.  A covenant of salt then was a covenant to last forever and never be amended.

Tithing is not mandated by the New Testament (and therefore the New Covenant).  However, we are to be a giving people and that looks different for all (2 Corinthians 9).  Deuteronomy 14:28-29 extends this and shows how once every 3 years, the tithes were shared with the poor.

The Levites had a job to do and were expected to do it in return for their pay–just as we are.

The Levites had to give a tenth of their tenth; they needed to be givers as well.

We have seen the amount the Levites gave was well over the tithe.  They gave offerings and freewill offerings and all the special offerings for festivals and any special projects like the building of the Tabernacle (Exodus 35:4-9).  The Israelites were a giving, generous people.  God commanded all of this so they would become giving and generous like He wants us to be–like Jesus.

Numbers 19:  A heifer is a female cow that has never been pregnant.  So we are looking for a pure cow of a red color with no defects–quite rare.

The difference between this sacrifice and others was that the cow’s blood was to be burnt up as well instead of being drained out.

Cedar wood, hyssop, and scarlet was used in Leviticus 14:4-6 to cleanse a leper.  These three items point to Jesus–some say Jesus’ cross was made of cedar.  Hyssop was offered to Jesus while he hung from the cross (Matthew 27:48), and scarlet represented Jesus’ blood.

Being unclean was not a sin; it just meant you couldn’t be with the community or with God.  Luckily for us, we are bathed by Jesus every day (John 13:5-11).

A dead body was the result of sin; hence, if you touched it, you were touching sin in essence and thus unclean.  The primary reason here was not the spread of disease because most people who die are found relatively soon afterwards.

Note the symbolism:  ashes of the heifer (Jesus) combined with living waters (Word of God & Holy Spirit).

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 21, Day 4: Numbers 16:23-50

Summary of passage:  As punishment for the rebellion against Moses (and God), God opened the earth and swallowed up Korah, Dathan, and Abiram and their families.  Fire consumed the 250 men.  Eleazar son of Aaron was ordered by God to take the censers the 250 men were holding and scatter the coals and hammer out the metal of the censers and lay it upon the altar.  This was to remind the Israelites that no one except Aaron’s descendants could burn incense before the Lord.

Still, the Israelites grumbled so God in His glory appeared at the Tent of Meeting.  He brought a plague upon the people which only stopped after Aaron offered incense and made atonement for the people.  14, 700 people died.

Questions:

7a)  God opened the earth and swallowed up Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and their families. Fire consumed the 250 men.

b)  Moses had seen God’s anger and God’s desire to kill everyone.  He had prayed to God to just punish Korah only.  I would assume God had told Moses His judgment of Korah ahead of time.  Even if not, Moses had a pretty good idea God would punish him.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  A bit of extrapolation but ok.  Pray more.  Read His word more.  Be more like Jesus.  What I do everyday.

8a)  Eleazar son of Aaron was ordered by God to take the censers the 250 men were holding and scatter the coals and hammer out the metal of the censers and lay it upon the altar. This was to remind the Israelites that no one except Aaron’s descendants could burn incense before the Lord.

b)  “Grumbled against Moses and Aaron.”

c)  Atoned for their sins.  Encouraged Moses and Aaron in their leadership role.  Obeyed God.

9a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I sometimes think God gets fed up with us, His creation, and can’t take it anymore.  God cares about how you treat Him and His people.  You will face judgment for it when you stand before Him.

b)  He made atonement for the people to end the plague against them.

c)  We are saved completely through Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins and we are forgiven and justified through him.  He is our intercessor as Aaron was here–only Jesus is permanent.  He stands between the living and the dead.

Conclusions:  I hadn’t realized the amount of grumbling in the Bible until this study. Unbelievable!  I think if I just witnessed God Himself opening up the earth and swallowing a family and then fire-balling 250 men, I’d have a healthy fear and appreciation of God and His servant, Moses.  The personal questions here are lackluster.

End Notes:  Our take away should be to stand away from divisive people as well and those who would cause unneeded trouble.  The Bible speaks to this is numerous places including Titus 3:10-11 and Romans 16:17-18.

The fact the families paid the price as well shows how sin affects not just you but those around you as well.

The coals were scattered because that was not holy as it was unauthorized; only the objects themselves were.

Moses’ heart once again shines through as he attempts to save the people from God’s wrath and judgment.

Incense is prayer (Revelation 8:3-4) and prayer does make a difference as we dramatically see here.  Aaron prayed; killing stopped.

Fun Fact:  The Hebrew Bible begins chapter 17 at Numbers 16:36.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 21, Day 3: Numbers 16:1-22

Summary of passage:  Korah, Dathan, and Abiram led 250 well-known council members in a rebellion  against Moses.  Moses tells them in the morning God will choose who is holy.  Moses chastises the Levites for being greedy and wanting the priesthood as well as the honor of serving God in His tabernacle.  Moses is accused by Dathan and Abiriam of leading them to death instead of a land of milk and honey.  Moses asked the Lord not to accept their offering out of anger.

The next day all the men took incense and their censer before the Lord at the Tent of Meeting. The Lord appeared in all His glory.  God tells Moses to move away from the entire group so He can kill them.  Moses and Aaron though beg for the lives of the 250 and just put the ringleaders to death.

Questions:

4a)  They accused Moses of putting himself above everyone else.  Dathan and Abiram accuse Moses of leading them to their deaths and not into a land of milk and honey.

b)  To promise them something greater–hear it sounds like the priesthood.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Ever hear of politicians?  All the time.  People promise you something to come over to their side.  Even amidst children.  Human nature.  One of the oldest (as we are reading) tricks in the book.

5a)  Korah:  Greed, desire for power, recognition

Dathan and Abiram:  desire for an easier life

Moses:  compassion, anger, forgiveness

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  This question has nothing to do with the passage.  Not sure.  I can’t speak for God.  And this passage is really not flattering to anyone.

6a)  God. Verse 11

b)  Moses fell facedown to God, he tells them they are rebelling against God, Moses tells God not to accept the offering of Dathan and Abiram, and Moses asks God only to punish the ringleaders and not everyone.  Moses knows God almost wiped them all off the face of the earth and he is trying to contain this rebellion before God decides to do it again.

Conclusions:  Unbelievable so close to God having almost killed the people and punished all of them by not allowing them to make it to the Promised Land.  Man never learns, does he?

I am struck over and over again with the greatness and compassion of Moses.  Never before have I realized just how instrumental he was in the Exodus and in rescuing God’s people from themselves.  I am awed by his love and his behavior and his courage especially in the face of God’s anger.  I’m not for sure I would have the courage to speak up to God to spare the people when God’s about to destroy everyone.  So many lessons we see from Moses:  standing up for others, loving others, compassion for others, understanding others, etc.  Every chapter I come to see just how special Moses truly was.

End Notes:  Korah was a great-grandson of Levi.  Both Moses and Korah were descended from Kohath but by different sons.  So they were distant cousins.  See Numbers 26:58-59.

Korah played to the people, claiming to represent their interests and needs, when in truth it was all about a power grab for himself.

It’s significant that Korah accused Moses of pride–a man the Bible called the most humble man on earth (Numbers 12:3–debatable about if Moses called himself this or not as the author of Numbers). It is therefore significant that Korah managed to get so many followers because these men should have known how preposterous the idea was and should have known Moses’ character.  Great example on how man is often deceived by smooth talkers.

Moses sets the example for all of us:  the first thing he did was pray.  Pray for guidance to God.

In this prayer (which we are not told how long it lasted), Moses presumably received direction from God in terms of what to do.  Moses wouldn’t issue a challenge to Korah and speak for God to show Himself and choose His leader if God hadn’t have told him to do so.

Korah was ungrateful and instead of seeking God to give him gratitude he chose to take Moses down.  His heart indeed was not God’s.

Unbelievable how Dathan and Abiram called Egypt “a land flowing with milk and honey.”  Yet how often have we done the same thing with the past–when something terrible has happened and we sugar coat it to something completely different.  It’s as if we never want to believe the worst.

Saying nothing is a sin as well when someone is falsely accused and you do nothing.  The 250 community leaders here hold blame as well.

Moses could easily have the rebels arrested and executed if he so desired.  Instead, he left it to God.  And Moses’ passion and anger against the rebels shows just how much he wanted to protect God’s people against those who would lead them astray.

The censer test with incense was what the priests used in worship.  God chose this to give the evil-doers what they wanted–to be a priest.  However, they were far from worshipping God here.

Moses and Aaron’s prayer perhaps saved these men.  We don’t know for sure, but the fact this is recorded emphasizes the power of prayer.  Another example for us to follow.  Certainly, both Moses and Aaron are becoming more and more like Jesus–one reason God allowed this rebellion to happen.

Fun Fact:  Korah means “baldness” in Hebrew.  Gives us a better picture of him, don’t it?