The Book of Revelations, Chapter 7: Verses 16 and 17 (Yes sir)
They shall hunger no more, neither shall they thirst anymore (Preach, preacher)
And God shall wipe away (Yes sir)
Every tear from their eye (Yes sir)
Get ready for the revolution
Don’t act like you don’t know this classic!! Come on now!
It’s a great song. And not only because Kirk Franklin is one of the greatest gospel artists of all time or because this song is so darn catchy – it’s because we all want a revolution.
Has there ever been a time in history when we haven’t wanted revolution? Change? A complete upheaval of the current society? When we see wrong, or hurt, or unfairness, or inequality, we want to see it fixed.
That same desire for change and revolution burned within the chests of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.
They were careful – they knew they needed to build a resistance before they made any moves.
They were charismatic – 250 people don’t follow after three men unless they are completely taken by them, unless they are buying what they’re selling.
But most of all, Korah, Dathan, and Abiram were angry. Moses and Aaron held too much power. The system they had set up over the Israelites was inherently unfair in their eyes.
They wanted change.
So they fought for it.
So did 250 community leaders.
So did thousands of Israelites.
Was it worth it?
History Repeats Itself
The very first revolutionary set his plans in motion years before Korah or Dathan or Abiram were even born. In fact, it’s impossible to measure how long ago the first attempt at revolution took place.
That’s because it was in heaven.
Lucifer was also careful. He took his time, moving among the angels in heaven, planting whispers and rumors.
Lucifer was charismatic too. He was one of the most respected angels, full of wisdom, gorgeous and impressive (Ezekiel 28:12-15). You wanted him to like you.
And Lucifer was angry. God and His Son Jesus held too much power. Jesus got too much authority, too much attention. God was supposed to spread his favor around.
Lucifer wanted change.
So he fought for it.
So did a third of the angels (Revelation 12:4).
And just like the Israelites who would come after them, Satan and the evil angels paid for their revolution with their lives (verses 32,35,49).
It wasn’t worth it.
The Main Ingredient
What’s the most destructive personality trait a person can have?
Is it Greed? Selfishness? Apathy?
Or could it be pride?
What Korah and Dathan and Abiram and the Israelites and even Lucifer all had in common was pride.
They were dissatisfied – with their leaders, with their situations. They felt like they deserved more. They believed they had been wronged.
And even though Korah, Dathan, Abiram and co. organized their resistance against Moses, the real Ruler the revolution sought to topple was God (verse 11).
The tabernacle system, the appointment of Moses as the Israelite leader, the anointing of Aaron and the Levites as the priests – all of it was God’s will.
Opposing God’s will is like a child opposing their parents. It’s standing up before the Creator of the Universe and telling Him that His system is flawed and you, the sinner who screwed everything up in the first place, know how to fix it. It’s pointing a finger in God’s face and waving it around, chastising Him, condemning Him, criticizing Him.
And to top it all off, right after doing all of that, Korah, Dathan, Abiram & co. turned around and called themselves “holy” (verse 3).
Pride is the most destructive personality trait because it seeks to remove God from the equation and replace it with “I”, with “me”, with “self”.
That was the spirit of Lucifer’s revolution.
That was the spirit of the Israelite revolution.
And it wasn’t worth it.
God’s Message: “Don’t be deceived.”
But we don’t have to worry about that, do we?
Even though you and I might not be on the verge of signing up for the next revolution, we’re still at risk of giving in to pride. Maybe we did just that yesterday. An hour ago. A few moments ago.
Pride comes easily. It comes with all of our sins. It comes with our thoughts. It comes and fills us in the blink of an eye.
But we aren’t doomed to give in.
When Korah and Dathan and Abiram first came to Moses, he didn’t fight with them. He didn’t exchange words. He almost didn’t think.
He went and fell down before God (verse 4).
He knew he didn’t know what to do.
He knew he didn’t know what was best.
He knew he needed God.
The greatest defense against pride and against deception and against rebellion is reminding ourselves how desperately we need God.
It’s reminding ourselves that we are weak.
It’s reminding ourselves that we are ignorant.
It’s reminding ourselves that if it was up to us and us alone, we would have destroyed ourselves a long time ago.
What we need isn’t a revolution – it’s humility. It’s faith. It’s trust.
And given who God is, I’d say it’s worth it.
What do you think? What was Korah, Dathan, and Abiram’s problem? What do you think about how their story ended?