When Moses heard this, he fell facedown. – Numbers 16:4
The Levites had banded together behind the rebellion of Korah, one of the clan leaders. They complained to Moses that all the people of Israel were holy and that Moses tried to make himself the supreme ruler of Israel. They threatened Moses to some extent. At their declaration Moses grieved and fell prostrate to the ground out of supposed hurt and concern and anger toward the Levites. He knew that the LORD YHWH would take this matter personally and remove the rebels from the assembly of Israel. Moses’ heart was saddened greatly.
Recently I heard John Bevere teach on when to use the Word of God to correct someone. He said that we should only use the Word in correction out of love for our fellow brethren and not in pride or self-righteousness to prove someone wrong. When Moses heard the hateful, vehement words of his relatives, it is no wonder why he grieved in his heart. He knew well that they had violated the Word of God and would face the stiff judgment of God according to the Law. There was grace in their day but not as we know it today. Often times, people who sinned under the Law suffered swift, severe punishment. It was not long after their rebellion against God and Moses that God opened up the earth and caused the rebellious Levites to fall into the abyss and die. It was swift and sudden with no chance of escape. In fact God told Moses to tell the people to get away from Korah and his followers, or they would die also.
When you see someone you know who is a child of God sin, does it cause a holy anger to rise up in you? Does it cause you to grieve in your heart to know that a loved one in the house of God has violated the Word of God and will suffer the consequences of their sin? It should move all of to tears at a minimum but also to grace. It should move us to want to do as Paul said and restore a brother gently back into the faith. We could be self-righteous and tear down a person for their sin and lambaste them with scripture, but it will only push the person farther away and create a bigger rift than before. No, we need to do as the LORD said and go to that individual and tell them that we know wrong was done but do so IN LOVE! Remember that Jesus told us to remove the log from our eyes before removing sawdust from others’ eyes.
I used to be the holier-than-thou type for a long time. I thought that my wrong was better than someone else’s wrong because I didn’t do the sins I considered more heinous than mine. Then I grew up and learned that sin is sin is sin. To break one part of the Law is to break all of it. There is no differing degrees of sin because any sin will separate us from the presence of the Father. Therefore, I learned to humble myself and let the LORD develop a loving, caring heart toward others. The golden rule kicked in and taught me to love others as I so desperately wanted to be loved. Blaming others and criticizing others is not the way to make friends and influence people. It’s also not the way to employ biblical correction or reproof.
Let’s all work toward showing that it bothers us when we see a disciple rebel, but let’s also show that we care by using a tough love that extends mercy and grace to cover that multitude of sin. If we restore a brother, then we’ve saved a brother.
Father, great and gracious Creator and Master and LORD, your name is mighty and worthy to be praised above all others! There is no one like you! Thank you for helping to get through this day and not allow the things that have plagued me of late and tempted me to anger and sin. Thank you for your grace that empowered me to rise above certain situations and walk in humility. I know that I am far from perfect and without your love and mercy would be nothing. Your Spirit has helped me to grow and mature in some areas with growth needed in still other regions of my heart and soul. It does bother me when I see others sin and even more so when I sin. Yet, I know that your grace extends to all of us who will take hold of it. Help me to be a brother who loves his siblings in Christ through correction but only because my heart grieves when others fall. May there be others who grieve when I fall. Then may we lift each other up, share your love toward one another, and grow together in Christ to avoid repeating the wrongs of yesterday. I love you Dad. Help me to do your will and not mine. In Jesus’ name, Amen.