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Parashat Korach

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

37th Portion

[30 June - 6 July 2024]

Theme of the Book of Numbers:

Desert life whilst here on earth. Between Egypt & Promised Land. Faith is the key.

Meaning of "korach" = "Korach"

This week's Torah portions:

Sunday: Numbers 16:1-13

Monday: Numbers 16:14-19

Tuesday: Numbers 16:20-17:8

Wednesday: Numbers 17:9-15

Thursday: Numbers 17:16-24

Friday: Numbers 17:25-18:20

Shabbat: Numbers 18:21-32 & 1 Samuel 11:14-12:22

Apostolic Writings:

Romans 13:1-7

Daily Bread for Busy Moms portions:

Jeremiah 38-47

Ezra 1-6

2 Corinthians 3-8

Luke 2:22-7:50

This is the 5th reading in the book of Numbers and the 34th portion in the 2022/2023 reading cycle. Abba is SO intentional! We are all called for different roles and purposes in life. And simply because our roles differ does not mean that anyone is superior or inferior. When we focus on doing what Abba has called each one of us to do, we will live in His Divine harmony. It was such a blessing to work through this portion and just get confirmation. Abba is really just so intentional, and He knows what He is doing!

In this portion we read about a group of the Israelites who came into rebellion against the authority. Korach (hence the name of the portion) - who was from the tribe of Levi - gathered people together and they acted rebelliously against Moses and Aaron. They challenged Moses's leadership with regards to Aaron who was appointed as the high priest. The group which Korach gathered included many of Israels main leaders at that stage. They all shared the same "grief" regarding Aaron being anointed as the high priest - as they felt that Aaron only received the position because he was Moses's brother.

What the group, led by Korach, failed to comprehend was that Moses only acted in obedience to God's instruction. The group of leaders demanded that they wanted to vote for who should be appointed as the high priest.

The group were not satisfied by the fact that Abba has already set them (tribe of Levi) apart for His service. They wanted the authority which Aaron had. Their discontentment led them straight into rebellion.

Moses was tired of listening to their complaints and their rebellious desire to take matters into their own hands. To settle the matter, Moses told them that they (all 250 men who were in rebellion) should come and burn their incense unto God at the tabernacle the next day and then God will reveal to them which incense is acceptable to Him. Remember that this was the job of the high priest. Aaron was to do the same when the group brought their incense. The next day they did as Moses instructed. And the earth swallowed them up - the men, their families and all their belongings. A fire came from God, and it consumed the 250 men who offered their incense at the door of the tabernacle.

At the same time, a plague struck the nation. The day after Korach and the men were consumed - the Israelites complained again and said to Moses that he has killed the people. It grieved God that the people continued to sin against Him and rebel against His instructions. God wanted to consume the rest of them as well. Moses interceded on behalf of the whole nation of Israel and told Aaron to go and offer sacrifice to God, so that the nation could receive atonement for their rebellion and sin. Multitudes died in the plague. The moment Aaron brought his sacrifice (incense), the plague stopped. Proving the point that Aaron was indeed anointed and appointed by God (and not by Moses) in his position.

After the plague stopped, God instructed Moses to take rods / staffs from the twelve tribes - a staff from each of the tribes' leaders. Moses was instructed to write the name of the leader on the staff - so that there would be no confusion on whose rod is whose. Furthermore, God instructed Moses to write Aaron's name on the tribe of Levi's rod. He told Moses to lay down all of the rods together in the tabernacle - and God will allow the rod to blossom of the man whom God selected to be the high priest - so that the Israelites would stop questioning God and His choices.

From Scripture we know that Aaron's rod blossomed. In this portion God spoke to Aaron as well and confirmed this anointing over Aaron and his sons as the priests whom God appointed for the service in the tabernacle.

This portion brings us to the question: What is GOD's choice? It's not about our choices. Until we get to the point where we set aside our choices and honour God's - we'll remain in rebellion.

Many a times in this world today, we see how people challenge the leadership... In all aspects of life - including in ministry. When it comes to challenging leadership - the matter is not about who is right and who is wrong. It's a matter of stepping into rebellion against authority. When people come into rebellion against God-given authority, it's not a minor thing.

Satan was thrown out of heaven because he stood up in rebellion against God's Divine Order. Rebellion - no matter in which form - is NEVER approved by God! Never!

In 1 Samuel 15:23 we read:

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, He hath also rejected thee from being king.”

God doesn't take rebellion lightly, and neither should we. In this week's portion it's confirmed - when the people literally died because of their rebellion. In today's day and age, we won't necessarily die physically - but rebellion will still cause death: a spiritual death.

Even though rebellion will not go unpunished, God will also always come and confirm & more so - reward - the authority which He has set in place. In this week's portion, we see how Abba confirms the positions and authority of those whom He appointed and anointed. And more than that - He also gives them a reward (the tithes of the land of Israel).

From this portion we also learn a little about God's instructions regarding tithing - which is still just as applicable to us today as it was back in the time of the Israelites in the desert. Tithes were (still is) always intended to go to those who stand in the priesthood / in full-time ministry / in His service.

Tithes are not supposed to go to organisations and churches, etc. It's supposed to go to individuals. To the person(s) who are your spiritual leader(s). Offerings are there to sustain the expenses / commitments, etc of the organisations and churches. Tithes are connected to specific people.

Biblically whenever things were to be built - a fund was created. And when enough funds were gathered - they would build. They didn't go into debt to do things.

In today's world we (including churches and religious organisations) go into debt to build buildings and cover other financial commitments. Which is NOT Biblical! When we stick to Biblical principles, churches & organisations won't need much to get through.

When we operate in ways other than what Abba has ordained - we are in rebellion. Whether it be in our finances, our ministries, our day-to-day lives, everything!

We cannot desire to have someone else’s authority and blessing - which God bestowed upon them - and then expect God to bless us. It is rebellion!

We are either listening and obeying.

Or we are in rebellion.

There is no middle ground.

We all must assess who God has placed us under spiritually. Where / to whom do you go to learn more about spiritual aspects? When you stand up against the authority of those who teach you / feed you spiritually - you are in rebellion against GOD! That person should be the person who receives your tithes as well.

We are so accustomed to the world's way of doing and handling things, that we fail to see our actions as acts of rebellion. Moreso, we sometimes even have the audacity to say that "God made us so." When in fact Scripture is pretty clear on it that rebellion never comes from God nor carries His approval.

In God's Kingdom, it's not a democracy. It's a KINGDOM. It's not about what or whom we chose. It's about whom God has anointed and appointed in different roles and positions of authority. And we are to be obedient to God's Kingdom which includes the spiritual authority which we fall under. It has nothing to do with our opinions and how we think things should be run or handled. God has the first and the final say.

May I remind you again that this has nothing to do with superiority nor inferiority - but it has everything to do with Abba's Kingdom Order and the authority which He has set in place.

God chose Aaron for the position of the high priest. Regardless of who liked it or not. Regardless of who would have liked it to be someone else or who thought they deserved the position themselves. You can't vote God's choice out of the equation. When you go against what God has ordained, you are standing in rebellion against God. It sounds like I'm stuck on the word "rebellion"... But I need all of us to grasp the severity of the definition of the word and the DEADLY effects it will have on our lives!

We cannot go against what God has ordained and the authority which He has set in place and expect to live blessed lives!

This doesn't mean that those who are appointed in positions of authority can do whatever they want. The Bible clearly indicates that there are counsels and people who give their input on things. The person(s) who is in places of authority give heed to the counsel which they receive - and they should do so. But at the end of the day, they have to make the final choice and they will be kept accountable for that! Just like Aaron was held accountable!

In this portion we see that those who stood up in rebellion against Aaron's position were all leaders! We all have God-given roles to play for His Kingdom. When we interfere with someone else's role - we are in (here comes my favourite word of the week again) ... rebellion! It's really as simple as that.

When we repent for our rebellion and turn back to worship Him in spirit and truth - He can restore us!

This portion links us back to when Moses threw his staff down on the ground at the burning bush. When he threw it down, it became a serpent. And when he picked it up again, it became a rod again. This was a shadow of us, who are throwing / laying down our serpent (sinful) nature and taking up our lives as new creations in Yeshua. When Moses and Aaron came to the Pharoah in Egypt - Aaron was the one who threw down his staff on the floor and it became a serpent. We all know how the story went of how the Pharoah's men also threw their staffs on the ground, and they became serpents. But Aaron's staff ate up the others. When Aaron picked up his staff again, it became a staff again.

In the history of Israel - we see these two staves which carries spiritual value still today. It reminds us of the importance of dying to ourselves, laying down the sinful / serpent nature and being born-again in our new nature through Yeshua.

When we grasp this concept, this week's portion also takes on new meaning! We then realise that the rods of the 12 tribes and the rod of Aaron that was laid down in the tabernacle was about the nature of the leaders. The leaders (take note: they are still leaders) who were still carrying the serpent nature, their rods (and themselves) didn't blossom and carry fruit.

We have to take on our new nature / identity in Yeshua and learn to understand the spiritual significance of it. That requires of us to move away from our worldly, sinful, serpent nature. When we do that - we learn how to live a balanced life. A life of faith whilst we are still here in the world.

It's a life of faith that is based on submitting to the instructions of God. A life of faith does not demand authority nor revolt against other God-given authority. A life of faith commits and submits to authority because you have laid down your old self.

You cannot have great faith when you cannot submit! When we struggle to submit to God-given authority, we'll most likely also struggle to walk securely in our faith journey. We might do all the things that looks religiously correct, but the lack of fruit in our lives will prove that it's merely religion and not relationship. Faith will always submit itself to authority.

When we fail to submit to God's authority - we bring death into our own camps (lives). Remember that we've said that the overhanging theme of Genesis is about choosing life! The main purpose is always about choosing life. When we act in rebellion, we are choosing death and we will reap the harvest of our choices.

We all have to make the deliberate choice in our lives to accept our God-given callings and anointings which God has given us individually. We have to make the choice that we will not envy someone else's calling and get into rebellion.

Korach and the men amongst him, was jealous of Aaron's calling. It wasn't about growing and being led to mature to also be able to do what Aaron was doing one day. It was coming from a place of jealousy and discontentment - where they wanted what Aaron had. And they wanted to take the role from him so that they could have it themselves. How many times is this the case in today's day and age as well?

What we have to realise is that when we are jealous / in rebellion / want what's not our calling - it will only bring death to our lives. When we stick to God's calling for our lives - we can focus on what it is which He has called us for and the position He has anointed us in. When we stick to that - it will bring forth a harvest and life!

When we lay down our lives and take up our new nature through Yeshua - and pursue our God-given callings... we will see how our rods start to blossom and bear fruit just like Aaron's did! When we stand in the position which Abba has called us for - we will live in His provision!

If we want to walk in faith, we have to submit ourselves to God's authority. And that includes submitting to the authority of the people whom He placed in spiritual positions over us.

When we rebel, we don't rebel only against the person... we rebel against God. And when we submit to the person, we submit to God.

The choice lies with each one of us. Are you willing to do what He tells you to do? Are you willing to not rebel against His authority? We can't just jump on the train of grace to cover our rebellion! When we act in rebellion, we revolt against God. It's as simple as that!

Living in faith is submitting to whatever it is that Abba instructs us to do - whether we like it or not!


If you are new here, you can follow the Torah portions with us every week!

(Simply click on the one you want to read).

  1. Portion 1: Bereshit

  2. Portion 2: Noach

  3. Portion 3: Lech Lecha

  4. Portion 4: Vayera

  5. Portion 5: Chayei Sarah

  6. Portion 6: Toldot

  7. Portion 7: Vayetzei

  8. Portion 8: Vayishlach

  9. Portion 9: Vayeshev

  10. Portion 10: Miketz

  11. Portion 11: Vayigash

  12. Portion 12: Vayechi

  13. Portion 13: Shemot

  14. Portion 14: Vaera

  15. Portion 15: Bo

  16. Portion 16: Beshalach

  17. Portion 17: Yitro

  18. Portion 18: Mishpatim

  19. Portion 19: Terumah

  20. Portion 20: Tetzaveh

  21. Portion 21: Ki Tisa

  22. Portion 22: Vayakhel & Pekudei

  23. Portion 23: Vayikra

  24. Portion 24: Tzav

  25. Portion 25: Shmini

  26. Portion 26: Tazria / Metzora

  27. Portion 27: Achrei Mot / Kedoshim

  28. Portion 28: Emor

  29. Portion 29: Behar / Bechukotai

  30. Portion 30: Bamidbar

  31. Portion 31: Nasso

  32. Portion 32: Beha'alotcha

  33. Portion 33: Sh'lach

  34. Portion 34: Korach (The blog you are reading now)

  35. Portion 35: Chukat / Balak

  36. Portion 36: Pinchas

  37. Portion 37: Matot / Masei

  38. Portion 38: Devarim

  39. Portion 39: Vaetchanan

  40. Portion 40: Eikev

  41. Portion 41: Re'eh

  42. Portion 42: Shoftim

  43. Portion 43: Ki Teitzei

  44. Portion 44: Ki Tavo

  45. Portion 45: Nitzavim / Vayeilech

  46. Portion 46: Ha'Azinu

  47. Portion 47: Vezot Haberakhah

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