Now Korah…took 250 prominent Israelite men who were leaders of the community and representatives in the assembly, and they rebelled against Moses. They came together against Moses and Aaron, and told them, “You have gone too far! Everyone in the entire community is holy, and the LORD is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the LORD’s assembly?” (Numbers 16:1-3, HCSB)

We now have before us a story in which the most humble man on the face of the earth was accused of being proud by exalting himself among the people. It is amazing that what is perceived by man is not reality and how people persecute those who truly are godly. Was this jealousy or was this a real impression of the people? It is really not clear, but Moses’ response shows that he was poor in spirit. When threatened by the angry mob he did not make a defense before the people. Moses would let the LORD God settle the situation:

When Moses heard this, he fell facedown. Then he said to Korah and all his followers, “Tomorrow morning the LORD will reveal who belongs to Him, who is set apart, and the one He will let come near Him. He will let the one He chooses come near Him.” (Numbers 16:4-5, HCSB)

He fell facedown. Moses first takes the humble position of falling on his face. Moses did not posture himself in a prideful or vengeful position. In Moses’ eye it did not matter what the people thought. Moses was willing to do what the LORD wanted to do. The person who is poor in spirit leaves every decision and choice to God in every aspect of his life. Moses was not claiming superiority. Moses knew he was allowed to come near to God because of being called and separated out to the LORD (being holy) and his character allowed that relationship as we previously discussed. An exercise was planned so the people who were against Moses were on one side and Moses and Aaron on the other. They were both to approach the LORD and see what would happen. It would be God’s choice not man’s. In fact the people who claimed Moses was out of line were not poor in spirit and this story plays out to show what the reality of the situation was.

The LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Separate yourselves from this community so I may consume them instantly.”

But Moses and Aaron fell facedown and said, “God, God of the spirits of all flesh, when one man sins, will You vent Your wrath on the whole community?”

The LORD replied to Moses, “Tell the community: Get away from the dwellings of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.’” (Numbers 16:20-24, HCSB)

The LORD God made His choice and the choice was Moses and Aaron. The lack of respect and the pride of the people were so grave that judgment was to be immediate. Moses in his humility fell on his face once more and interceded for the congregation so that only the ringleaders were judged. Not being poor in spirit is viewed by God to be an offense worthy of divine retribution. This should make us consider our lives in the sight of the Lord.

Learn to not come to your own defense when personally attacked; leave that to the Lord.

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