In Numbers 16, Korah, a Levite leader in the Israelite community, rallies a team of over 250 Israelite leaders to oppose Moses and Aaron. Their position was, "Why should Moses and Aaron be our leaders and priests? We're all holy, God is with us too, and we can lead ourselves!" (v3) Moses says three things in response which are three lessons we can learn about leadership in God's kingdom:
Numbers 16:5 (NIV)
5 Then he said to Korah and all his followers: "In the morning the LORD will show who belongs to him and who is holy, and he will have that person come near him. The man he chooses he will cause to come near him.
On verse 5: Korah thought, "We're all equally qualified to lead ourselves. Why should you be the ones to lead us, Moses and Aaron?!" Korah forgot that in the end, it is God who chooses who will lead His people. Once that choice is made, our role is not to complain or question the decision, or to attack those chosen leaders, or to play politics trying to usurp the position that God gave someone else. Rather, our role is to do our best to support, encourage and protect those whom God chooses.
Numbers 16:9 (NIV)
9 Isn't it enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the Israelite community and brought you near himself to do the work at the LORD's tabernacle and to stand before the community and minister to them?
On verse 9: Moses cut to the heart of the matter. The reason why Korah and his team were so critical of Moses and Aaron and the reason why they stirred up so much trouble was because Korah and his team were envious of the power and position that Moses and Aaron had. Korah and his team took for granted the grace that God had already shown them, how God had already set them apart as leaders who led the people in worship. The lesson here: before we accuse, criticize and condemn people in leadership, we need to check our own hearts and motives. Are we taking God's grace for granted? Evidently how we treat our God-given leaders says a lot about our own hearts and character.
Numbers 16:11 (NIV)
11 It is against the LORD that you and all your followers have banded together. Who is Aaron that you should grumble against him?"
On verse 11: When you rebel against your leaders whom God has chosen, you're not so much rebelling against them as you are rebelling against God.
It's no wonder Hebrews 13:17 says:
17 Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.
What is your attitude toward the spiritual leaders God has chosen and placed in your life?
May we be people who respond humbly and willingly to God and to the leaders God has chosen to place over us, thus honoring God and making it a joy for our leaders to lead us.