Thought for the week

'PARSHA KORACH'

LET G-D BE G-D

Numbers 16:31-35: “Now it came to pass, as he finished speaking all these words, that the ground split apart under them, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods. So they and all those with them went down alive into the pit; the earth closed over them, and they perished from among the assembly. Then all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up also!” And a fire came out from the LORD and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering incense.”

The ‘parsha’ (‘Torah’ portion) this week, ‘Parsha Korach’ (baldness, ice, hail or frost), found in Numbers 16:1 – 18:32, is the 38th weekly ‘Torah’ portion in the annual Jewish cycle of ‘Torah’ reading. The corresponding ‘haftorah’ (reading of the prophets) is found in 1 Samuel 11:14 – 12:22.

‘Parsha Korach’ tells us that Korach incited a rebellion against Moses and was joined by Dathan, Aviram, On, and “two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation and men of renown.”
When it became clear that Korach and his followers were aspiring for the priesthood, Moses challenged them to offer ‘ketoret’ (incense) to G-d - the most sacred of the Divine services in the sanctuary, permitted only to a priest and only under special circumstances.
Korach and his followers were contesting Aaron’s appointment as ‘Kohen Gadol’ (High Priest), so Aaron would also offer the ‘ketoret’. Korach and his followers accepted the challenge.

Many of the people were sympathetic to Korach's rebellion and they gathered at the entrance of the sanctuary. G-d’s anger was aroused, and He told Moses and Aaron to separate themselves from the congregation as He was going to consume them.
Moses summoned Dathan and Aviram, but they refused Moses' summons, so Moses went to them in an effort to quell the rebellion. However, Dathan and Aviram remained defiant.
It came to pass that the ground split beneath them and the earth opened up and swallowed Korach, his entire household and all the rebels. The earth also swallowed their houses and all the men who sided with Korach as well as all their possessions. All who were around them fled, fearing that the earth would swallow them up as well.

Regarding the two hundred and fifty men who were offering incense, Numbers 16:35 tells us that “a fire came out from the LORD and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering incense.”
G-d then instructed that the censers in which they offered the incense should be retrieved and hammered into plates to be used as the copper covering of the altar.

However the next day, the people again congregated and challenged Moses and Aaron accusing them of causing the deaths of the people. Once again G-d’s anger was aroused, and a plague broke out among the people. Moses told Aaron to take a censer, put fire in it from the altar, and put on incense to make atonement for the congregation; the plague then stopped.

G-d then instructed Moses to conduct another test to prove that Aaron was His chosen as the ‘Kohen Gadol’ (High Priest).
Each one of the twelve tribal heads had to place their staff in the sanctuary; Aaron, as the head of the tribe of Levi, placed his staff in as well. Each one had to write his name on his staff and G-d said that the man's staff whom He would choose would blossom and that He would put a stop to the murmuring of the children of Israel against Moses and Aaron.
The next day, Moses went into the Tabernacle of Meeting and saw that Aaron’s staff had budded, produced blossoms and yielded almonds; thus showing the people that Aaron was G-d’s chosen.
G-d then instructed that Aaron's staff should be returned to the sanctuary and placed there as a memorial and testimony for generations to come.
G-d reiterated that it was the ‘Kohanim’ (Priests), assisted by the Levites, who bore the responsibility of serving in G-d’s sanctuary.
Finally, G-d commanded that an offering from each crop of grain, wine and oil, as well as all firstborn sheep and cattle and other specified gifts be given to the ‘Kohanim’.

In ‘Haftorah Korach’, the prophet Samuel, a descendant of Korach, gathered the Jewish people to install Saul as the first king of Israel. At the coronation of King Saul, Samuel reminded the people how G-d saved and aided them every step of the way; he then chastised them for wanting a flesh and blood king. He assured them that G-d would be with them if they followed in His ways, but warned them of the consequences they would face if they did not follow G-d’s word.

What are the lessons learnt from ‘Parsha Korach’?

The first lesson is that G-d’s purpose will always prevail – Proverbs 19:21: “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand” (ESV). G-d will use whom He wants, in the way He wants, where He wants, and how He wants. We may not understand it, however ours is not to question it; ours is just to accept the sovereignty of Almighty G-d and to let G-d be G-d.

The second lesson is that we dare not go against G-d’s anointed; we see the consequence of this in ‘Parsha Korach’.
Another example of this is when King David cut off the corner of Saul’s robe. David realised that, even though G-d rejected Saul as king, he was still the L-rd’s anointed; and David’s heart troubled him – we read this in 1 Samuel 24:5-6: “Now it happened afterward that David's heart troubled him because he had cut Saul's robe. And he said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the LORD’S anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD.” ”

Many times I hear people speak out against and slander G-d’s anointed – Rabbis, pastors, church leaders, preachers etc.; I strongly warn against this. Even if you don’t agree with their theology, be careful not to sow discord by speaking against or slandering the anointed of G-d as G-d sees this as an abomination – Proverbs 6:16-19: “These six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.”
If their theology and doctrine is incorrect, that is between them and G-d. They will – as we all will – stand before the L-rd and He will be the judge.

The third lesson is not to go against G-d’s chosen people, the Jewish people, and G-d’s chosen land, Israel. Those who go against and speak out against the Jewish people and Israel are heading for a direct clash with Almighty G-d – and their will only be one winner.
Joel 3:2 declares: “I will also gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land.”

Clearly G-d shows that He protects His anointed; we see a vivid example of this in ‘Parsha Korach’ where G-d protected Moses and Aaron from those who rebelled against them - Numbers 16:31-35: “Now it came to pass, as he finished speaking all these words, that the ground split apart under them, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods. So they and all those with them went down alive into the pit; the earth closed over them, and they perished from among the assembly. Then all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up also!” And a fire came out from the LORD and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering incense.”

Please be careful what you say about or how you approach the anointed of G-d as well as the Jewish people and Israel. Don’t place yourself in a position of arousing G-d’s anger against you by attacking or speaking slander against G-d’s anointed and G-d’s chosen.

The final lesson that we learn, comes from the ‘haftorah’.
Don’t look to the things of this world for your satisfaction or for your guidance. Keep your eyes on G-d, keep your eyes on His Son, Yeshua, and allow His ‘Ruach Hakodesh’ (Holy Spirit) to guide you.

Saul began his reign as a good king who did right in the sight of the L-rd; however, he soon declined into becoming a disobedient king who did evil in the sight of the L-rd. In fact 1 Samuel 15:35 tells us that the L-rd regretted that He had made Saul king over Israel.
G-d has everything in the palm of His hand; nothing is out of His control. We just have to believe in Him, trust in Him, allow Him to lead and guide us, and to Let G-d be G-d.

Are you looking to the things of this world for your satisfaction or for your guidance or will you keep your eyes on G-d and on His Son, Yeshua? Are you doing ‘your own thing’ or will you follow G-d’s purpose for your life and allow His ‘Ruach HaKodesh’ to guide you?
Will you accept G-d’s plan for your life or, like Korach, will you rebel against G-d and His purposes for you? In other words, will you let G-d be G-d over your life?

G-d, because of His love and compassion for you; because He wants to have an intimate, personal relationship with you; because He wants you to have eternal life and not eternal death has, through His Son Yeshua, been faithful to forgive your sins through the work of the cross. He is also faithful to grant you eternal life in heaven, through the death and resurrection of Yeshua.
Scripture records that Yeshua became the perfect sacrifice when He died on the cross, shedding every last drop of His blood, thus taking our sins upon Himself, guaranteeing all who believe in His death and resurrection and who invite Him to become L-rd of their lives, eternal life in heaven…and this applies to all people, both Jews and gentiles.

I conclude with this: ‘Parsha Korach’ shows that G-d’s purposes always come about.
However, when it comes to your own life, G-d has given you a will and He will not violate your will. The forgiveness of sin and accepting the gift of salvation is your choice.

Please make the correct choice today and accept Yeshua as your L-rd and Saviour by praying the prayer of salvation found at the end of this article. Thus G-d’s eternal purpose for you – the forgiveness of sin and eternal life in Heaven will be secure.

We love you.

Shalom

Scripture of the week: Matthew 6:9-13: “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”


SALVATION PRAYER

Thank you Yeshua for Your love for me.
Thank you for giving up Your life on the cross for me and for taking my sins upon Yourself.
I confess that I have sinned.
I repent of my sins and I turn from everything I know to be wrong.
I invite You to come into my life as my Messiah, my Saviour.
By Your grace I will serve You all the remaining years of my life.
























PARASHAT MASEI

G-D CONTROLS ISRAEL’S BORDERS

“These are the journeys of the children of Israel, who went out of the land of Egypt by their armies under the hand of Moses and Aaron. Now Moses wrote down the starting points of their journeys at the command of the LORD. And these are their journeys according to their starting points” (Numbers 33:1-2).

And so begins the ‘parshah’ (‘Torah’ portion) this week, ‘Parashat Masei’ (Journeys) found in Numbers 33:1 – 36:13; the corresponding ‘haftorah’ (reading of the prophets) is found in Jeremiah 2:4-28 -  4:1-2.
‘Parashat Masei’ is the tenth and final ‘parshah’ in the Book of Numbers.

Moses recorded the various journeys of the children of Israel from the land of Egypt as directed by G-D. ‘Parshah Masei’ also recounts the forty two stations from the Exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land.

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