Korah was a prominent Levite and first cousin of Moses and Aaron. Dathan, Abiram, and On were all from the tribe of Reuben, which would have been the lead tribe instead of Judah if Reuben had not sinned against his father. Dathan was from a large, important family. Abiram was the son of a great man. On was a powerful man in his own right. The 250 princes were all respected men in Israel.
But they were not content with the great anointing and outstanding positions with which God had already blessed them. The hands and feet wanted to become the head and eyes. It isn’t a bad thing to want to be a teacher, a prophet, or a priest. It becomes a bad thing when God has appointed you to some other role and you reject that anointing in order to usurp another’s place.
The consequences of their covetousness were devastating. Note that, the more responsibility each man had for this rebellion, the more severe the consequences.
The entire nation was nearly destroyed excepting Moses and Aaron. Moses interceded on their behalf, asking God, “Why should the whole nation suffer for the sin of one man?” Moses knew that Korah was the initial instigator and that the rebellion probably would not have happened at all if he had not been tickling the ears of his three fellow conspirators. God partly agreed with Moses. Yes, Korah was the instigator, but he didn’t force anyone to go along with him. They all chose to defy God by rejecting his choice of High Priest. Even so, God recognizes that some people bear more responsibility than others by virtue of their greater authority and influence. The greater the authority and influence of the criminal, the greater was God’s wrath. So much so that the entire househ0lds of three of the ringleaders were destroyed, and not just the men themselves.*
Leadership isn’t just about wielding power. It is primarily about being responsible for those whom you lead and standing that much closer to ground zero when you misuse the power that comes with authority.
* What happened to the fourth man, On? He is only mentioned the one time. According to Rabbi Ozer Alport (and the Talmud, Sanhedrin 109b) in his Parsha Potpourri, On’s wife talked him out of the rebellion. He initially acted on emotional impulse, but his wife pointed out that he was just being used by Korah. In keeping with his implied history as a self-made man, he repented and returned to a more profitable path.
Reality doesn’t care what you think. Consequences follow action, intended or not.
Order and hierarchy have been inherent in God’s plan from the very beginning, whether among the angels, in the Garden of Eden, among men, or within families. Although the laws that govern spiritual authority are not as readily subject to experiment and objective verification as the laws that govern chemical reactions, they are just as real and just as inviolable. A man who continually drinks dilute amounts of drano will eventually suffer from alkaline poisoning whether he learned the lessons of high school chemistry or not. He might get away with it for a short while, but the consequences of his actions will catch up with him.
The same is true of those who reject spiritual authority. Women who reject the spiritual covering of their fathers or husbands, men who reject the authority of God’s anointed prophets and judges, children who reject the authority of their parents… They might live indefinitely believing that they have chosen their own path, that they have found freedom in self-governance. Really, they have left one service for another and gained nothing lasting in the transaction.
After all, who is more free? The slave whose master will defend him and trusts him with a great deal of autonomy? Or the escaped slave who has no resources, no shelter, and who has become an open and defenseless target for abuse and re-enslavement by another master?
The latter may appear to have more freedom in the immediate sense of having no allegiance and no duty to a higher power, but in the long run, his available choices will be severely limited and possibly eliminated altogether because he does not understand the laws of the world in which he lives.
…even him whom he hath chosen… God constructed the world to function in a certain manner. Like any complex machine, Creation’s functionality degrades as its components cease to function according to design. The extent of the dysfunction can be difficult to measure. For example, an automobile without brakes might travel along an uncrowded highway without incident. The driver only realizes his trouble when it becomes necessary to slow or stop. So it is with family structure, church organization, and civil government. As Western nations become more and more feminized, they are beginning to come apart at the seams.
As backwards as the Muslim nations appear, they have a very distinct advantage in that feminism has not taken a significant hold within their borders or cultures. As these two civilizations clash, the conclusion appears to be foregone. The superior technology and wealth of Europe and North America enable them to win many battles even as their borders are flooded with Muslims and other immigrants who have no interest in adapting themselves to the existing cultures. Instead they bring their own culture with them and destroy Western Civilization by forfeiture.
Our politicians say that we are fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here. Anyone with eyes to see can tell that they have no need to fight us anywhere. Until we excise the cancer of feminism from within our own people, we will go on committing cultural suicide.
The military adventures of the Bush-Clinton-Obama cabal are the death throws of a very broken machine and the Muslims need only bide their time to win.