Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men; and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown. (Numbers 16:1-2)
Like every other rebellion, many factors combined to fuel this particular revolt. One of them seems to be related to issues of the past — things that happened long before Korah, Dathan and Abiram were born. Also it’s important to realized that those who felt slighted when it came to status and position camped in close proximity with others who felt the same way. In short, Korah, a Levite and Kohathite, camped near the tribe of Reuben and apparently tapped into a discontentedness among the Reubenites that had been simmering for decades.
You will recall that Jacob’s first born son, Reuben, lost favored status when he defiled his father’s bed (Genesis 49:4). Consequently, the birthright of the first born was placed upon Joseph and his sons. No doubt, Reuben’s offspring carried an offense that seems to have culminated when Korah decided he rise up against Moses and Aaron. So here is the point: two different factions, both of whom felt that they had been wronged, were hanging out with one another and fueling the other’s bad attitude.
There is an old saying that goes like this: Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future. Case in point: Korah is forever linked with the likes of Cain and Balaam, names that will live in infamy. So it is certain that if we hang around the wrong people we will, in time, adopt their bad attitudes and habits. That is not to say that we should avoid sharing the Gospel with them, obviously, but it is to say there is a reason God told us to live a “set apart” life. Therefore, we need to associate with those who are determined to do and speak what is right and draw closer to the Almighty.
Moreover, let’s be the people who inspire others to walk in humility and obedience to our Father so that our names will be linked with those who are given as examples of faithful servants — men like Abraham, David and Paul. The choice is ours to make; let’s choose wisely.
Blessings and Shalom,