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God's instruction can always be trusted.

This month's memory verse

Philippians 2:3–4

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Korah's Rebellion

Friday, May 26, 2023

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God takes sin seriously

Key Verse | Numbers 16:35

Then fire blazed forth from the Lord and burned up the 250 men who were offering incense.

Numbers 16:27–40

27So all the people stood back from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. Then Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the entrances of their tents, together with their wives and children and little ones.

28And Moses said, “This is how you will know that the Lord has sent me to do all these things that I have done—for I have not done them on my own. 29If these men die a natural death, or if nothing unusual happens, then the Lord has not sent me. 30But if the Lord does something entirely new and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them and all their belongings, and they go down alive into the grave,* then you will know that these men have shown contempt for the Lord.”

31He had hardly finished speaking the words when the ground suddenly split open beneath them. 32The earth opened its mouth and swallowed the men, along with their households and all their followers who were standing with them, and everything they owned. 33So they went down alive into the grave, along with all their belongings. The earth closed over them, and they all vanished from among the people of Israel. 34All the people around them fled when they heard their screams. “The earth will swallow us, too!” they cried. 35Then fire blazed forth from the Lord and burned up the 250 men who were offering incense.

36*And the Lord said to Moses, 37“Tell Eleazar son of Aaron the priest to pull all the incense burners from the fire, for they are holy. Also tell him to scatter the burning coals. 38Take the incense burners of these men who have sinned at the cost of their lives, and hammer the metal into a thin sheet to overlay the altar. Since these burners were used in the Lord’s presence, they have become holy. Let them serve as a warning to the people of Israel.”

39So Eleazar the priest collected the 250 bronze incense burners that had been used by the men who died in the fire, and the bronze was hammered into a thin sheet to overlay the altar. 40This would warn the Israelites that no unauthorized person—no one who was not a descendant of Aaron—should ever enter the Lord’s presence to burn incense. If anyone did, the same thing would happen to him as happened to Korah and his followers. So the Lord’s instructions to Moses were carried out.


16:30 Hebrew into Sheol; also in 16:33.
16:36 Verses 16:36-50 are numbered 17:1-15 in Hebrew text.