There's usually more than one way to get from point A to point B, and you can't always trust GPS, especially if you're in a hurry.
As believers in Christ, our goal should always be to get there God's way. This week, we play "Follow the Leader" in Numbers 16 to see what the principles leading the Hebrews from Mt. Sinai to Moab mean in our lives today.
Natural Leadership vs. Spiritual Leadership - The Difference
In Numbers 16 Korah attempts to overthrow Moses' position and set himself and others up as holy spiritual leaders.
Korah obviously had the abilities of a natural leader (he garnered the support and participation of 250 leaders of the congregation Numbers 16:2), but Korah's way didn't get the people where they wanted to go.
Korah, like any natural leader, chose a natural path that puffed himself up, while Moses was a spiritual leader who humbled himself before God.
Here are the differences between the two types of leaders:
|Natural Leader, "It's all about me."||Spiritual Leader, "It's all about God."|
|Self confident||Confident in God|
|Knows men||Knows men and God|
|Makes own decisions||Seeks God's will|
|Motivated by self gain||Motivated by love for God and man|
|Originates own methods||Follows God's methods|
|Enjoys commanding others||Delights in obeying God|
Miles says: "we all follow and we all lead--at the very least we lead ourselves." For Christians, someone is always watching us. Not just God on high, either.
People watch Christians, some with good purposes in mind, some with not-so-good purposes in mind. Korah was a leader with not-so-good purposes.
The Leader God Chooses
Moses tells Korah to gather together his company with incense in censers and come before the Lord tomorrow morning, and it shall be that the man whom the Lord chooses is the holy one. Numbers 16:7
Korah served in the temple, but this wasn't enough for him. Numbers 16:9-10 He wanted to overthrow Moses and Aaron and be the spiritual leader.
By rebelling against Moses and Aaron and seeking to remove them, Korah was rebelling against God. Moses was the leader God put in place, and not even Korah and the scheming 250 could replace him. Such is the power of God: whom God appoints, man cannot remove.
Moses, being a Godly and humble man, prayed to God not to destroy the congregation even after they attempted mutiny. Numbers 16:22 Korah was looking out for himself, but Moses was looking out for God's people even though he was angry. Numbers 16:15 Moses was a Godly spiritual leader who genuinely cared for the people.
In the end, Korah and his cronies were swallowed up by the earth. Numbers 16:32 Those who offered incense back in verses 17-18 were consumed by fire from the Lord. Korah and his men were more interested in being right than doing right, and it cost them their lives.
Will You Let God Lead You?
Some people have a unique relationship with God. This relationship is available to all of us who know the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior. But how do we get that relationship? "Be consumed with finding out what God has called you to, not other folks' business," Miles tells us.
Miles reminds us that every person and situation in our lives has been placed there for God's purposes: the mean boss, the backbiting coworker, the friend who betrays us, even the difficult spouse that refuses to be our "happy slave."
Bring those persons and situations before God in prayer and seek His will. Notice that when Korah first confronted Moses, Moses didn't get angry and say "It's Go Time, Korah!" Moses "fell on his face" and sought God's will in the situation. Numbers 16:4 This should be our posture, too.
Do you know someone who has something against you? Go to that person and pray to God with them (if they'll let you) and ask God to judge whether you're wrong. It may be difficult, but you'll always come out on top if God gets His way.
This week, consider your own life and think of someone you struggle with. Pray that God would show you that person's perspective. Ask God to reveal to you how you deal with others in your relationships. As always, God will be faithful.
Next week: Moses messes up and gets in trouble with God.