Korah Rebels / Moses Sins

To Remember: We must honor the Lord
  • plague: an illness that spreads among the people
  • rebel: one who refuses to accept the authority of another
Lesson  Numbers 16-17, 20
Korah Rebels

Discussion Point:
Remember how we said that God promised to make Israel a special people? In what ways did God treat this group differently than other nations? He led them in person in the cloud and fire, he fed them manna each day, he presented himself within the tabernacle, he allowed the priests to approach him, and he claimed this people as his own. But some people got used to these blessings, and wanted even more. Korah, Dathan and Abiram were jealous that only certain men got to approach God as priests. They twisted the truth, and said that since all the nation was special, all could approach God. Was that true? Yes, they were special, but God had said only the tribe of Levi could serve him in the temple. Sometimes today, man will take something that is true and try to make it mean more than it does. We must be careful to know the whole truth.
Did these people want to approach God, or did they want to seem important? Often people who claim to want to serve God don't care what he thinks about this service. Korah, Dathan, and Abiram wanted to elevate themselves, cause trouble for Moses and do things their own way. If they cared about pleasing God they would have listened to what he said!
How did God react to this presumption? First, he punished the rebels by swallowing them and their belongings into the earth. The he sent fire to destroy 250 men that had set themselves up as leaders of this rebellion. When the people blamed Moses for these things, God sent a plague to punish them. Moses and Aaron were able to save many by interceding. To prove that God had chosen only the tribe of Levi, he had Aaron's rod blossom while the others remained dead sticks. God had not changed his mind about who was allowed to approach him.
Activity: Take 13 tongue depressors. On each write the name of a tribe. On the thirteenth, write Aaron's name on one side and glue small flowers on the other. Use to demonstrate the miracle God used to prove Aaron's position as High Priest.
Sing:The wise man built his house
Moses Sins

Moses bingo and concentration game printable Once again the people came to where there was no water. Once again God told Moses how to provide it. Only this time, Moses changed what God said to do, and he personally rebuked the Israelites for their murmuring. Water came from the rock, but God was upset. He said, "Because you did not honor me as holy, you will not bring this people into the land." Moses had done two things: he presumed that hitting the rock was ok (it wasn't), and he claimed to Israel that he was providing the water. Did Moses make the water come from the rock? No, God did. If Moses did not set God apart as the sole provider for Israel, would the people? No. Leaders have a very difficult job because they must always point toward God as the ultimate authority. Teachers, parents, elders and even politicians need to recognize and demonstrate that any authority they have comes from God, not themselves. The Israelites were already rebellious enough. They often contested Moses' position. If Moses claimed to be more than he was, they would have reason to rebel. Who were the Israelites really rebelling against? They were rebelling against God.

Discussion Point: Why do you think Moses said what he did? After so many years of patiently caring for the Israelites, it sounds like he finally let his anger get the best of him. This is an important warning for us. It tells us that anger makes us weak against temptation, it has lasting consequences, it can affect even the humblest and strongest of people, and it never accomplishes God's will. D+Anger=Danger! We must be careful when we are angry not to sin against God!

Memory Work:
Numbers 20:12 Because you did not honor me as holy, you will not bring this people into the land.
True or False
  1. Korah was right to challenge the priesthood. F
  2. Moses was right to judge the rebels. T
  3. The Israelites accused Moses of murdering the rebels.   T
  4. Aaron's rod budded because he was a better man than the others.   F
  5. Moses had his own weaknesses. T
Review Questions for gameboard

 linguistic questions
  1. God said he must be set apart as _______.
  2. Name 2 words that rhyme with bud.
  3. Recite the memory verse.
  activity questions
  1. Assemble a small puzzle.
  2. Act out the rebels telling Aaron he's not special.
  3. Put first six books of Bible in order (from cards).
  emotion questions
  1. How do you think Aaron felt when 250 men told him he wasn't special?
  2. How did Moses feel when the people complained about water again?
  3. How did God feel when Moses claimed to perform a miracle?
  4. How do you feel when someone else takes credit for your work?
application questions
  1. How should we treat those in authority over us?
  2. How do we set God apart as holy?
  3. Who should get all the credit for the good things that happen?
fact questions
  1. What book of the Bible is this lesson from?
  2. How many leaders followed Korah?
  3. What 3 punishments did God deliver to the rebels?
review questions
  1. Can someone tell the truth and still be wrong?
  2. If we want to please God, who do we listen to?
  3. Does God always treat everyone as equals?