The Children of Korah
When someone asks me who my favorite Bible character is, I promptly respond, "The children of Korah".
At this time period in history, Moses was leading the children of Israel out from Egypt, through the wilderness, and into the Promised Land. It was a very difficult time for the Israelites.
Korah was the man introduced in Numbers 16 as the leader of a group that stood against Moses, and ultimately against God. Also mentioned with Korah are two other leaders: Dathan and Abiram.
In Numbers 16:23-24, God told Moses and the congregation to separate from these men.
"And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the congregation, saying, Get you up from about the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram."
As per usual, Moses obeyed the words of the Lord, pleading not only with the children of Israel, but also with the households of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. In a sense, Moses drew a line in the sand for the Israelites, causing them to choose which side they would be on.
This is where the children come in. In verse 27, the Bible states, "So they gat up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children."
Notice that Korah's children were not mentioned!
Sadly, those who stood with Korah, Dathan, and Abiram were swallowed up by the earth. (vs. 31-32) However, in Numbers 26 (where the genealogies are recorded) Moses recounts the story and states an interesting fact. He said in verse 11, "Notwithstanding the children of Korah died not."
This short, simple verse clearly illustrates the decision these children made after Moses drew the line in the sand. These children decided to stand with God's man, even though it meant they would be going against their father.
I can only imagine the verbal abuse and ugly stares they received from their own family! Imagine the persecution for standing up for what was right!
Amazingly, the story does not end there. In 1 Chronicles 9, the jobs assigned to the Levites are written out. Verse 19 says: "And Shallum the son of Kore, the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah, and his brethren, of the house of his father, the Korahites, were over the work of the service, keepers of the gates of the tabernacle: and their fathers, being over the host of the LORD, were keepers of the entry."
The Korahites oversaw the work of the service and were keepers of the gates of the tabernacle. Special mention is made in verse 31 of a descendant named Mattithiah. "And Mattithiah, one of the Levites, who was the firstborn of Shallum the Korahite, had the set office over the things that were made in the pans."
Just a few generations before, Korah perished because of his sin and rebellion, but his children chose to do what was right, in spite of his bad example. Years later, Korah's great-grandsons were faithfully serving the Lord with special assignments in the tabernacle!
Through this story, I am reminded that no matter what everyone around me is doing, I still need to stand up for what is right, even when it is difficult, and even if it means standing alone.
Psalm 19:7-8 "The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes."