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  • Writer's picturePastor Hans Fiene

Matins Devotion: May 24, 2023

Numbers 16:23-40

When Korah and his men rebel against God and seek to make themselves equal to or perhaps greater than Moses and Aaron, God responds with profound wrath. He puts them all to death, them and all their households. His condemnation is so stern and severe that it terrifies all the people of Israel. And yet, amazingly, there’s profound comfort in all of that horror.

God could have chosen any method of death for these rebels, I suppose. He could have killed them with a plague, as He does to many other rebels and sinners in the Scriptures. He could have had them eaten by worms, as He did to Herod Agrippa many years later. But God chooses to destroy these men and their families in two rather unique ways: by having them swallowed up by the earth and by having fire come out from the sanctuary and consume the would-be priests who were offering incense to the Lord. Then, on top of this, Moses has the censers of those would-be priests hammered onto the altar as a reminder that no priest from outside the line of Aaron may come into the presence of God. That’s where the comfort comes in.

Because, of course, one priest not from the line of Aaron did come into the presence of God. One priest, from the line of Judah and David, one priest from the pre-existent order of Melchizedek came into the presence of God. And that priest was also consumed by the fire of God’s wrath on Calvary. In HIs great act of intercession, He breathed His last. But because this was the sacrifice His Father sent Him to offer, then the fire of God will not consume you. And because His sacrifice washed you clean and made you holy, you now have the right to come into the presence of God. You now have the right to be equal with Moses because you have now both been made brothers of Christ and sons of God.

And because Christ knew no sin, then death could not hold Him. The ground that once swallowed the bodies of Korah’s rebels could not keep Christ in the prison of death, but vomited him back up. And because of this, on the last day, your Great High Priest will command the earth to unswallow you. He will lift you up from the grave and welcome you into the eternal presence of the Lord. Because of Christ and His forgiveness, the fire of wrath and the swallowing grave no longer have no power over you. Korah is conquered. Satan is conquered. Jesus is victorious. And so are you.

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