Trebuchet MS – Probably the most common phrase associated with the Bible is to say that somebody has the patience of Job. Certainly, other phrases do come from the Bible, but few have been inspired by the people of the Bible. I learned a new one. To say that somebody is like Korah is to say that he or she has squandered their potential.
If you study the rabinical teachings on this OT trouble-maker, you will soon learn that he was one of the two richest men back in the day. He was the leader of his family’s clan. He was also in charge of moving about the ark of the covenant. It was no small honor, but it wasn’t enough for him. This natural born leader caused a couple hundred people to take his side as he challenged Moses, the leader whom God had chosen. He carefully questioned Moses concerning the law and then he accused him of inventing the law. Korah surrounded himself by people who agreed with him that he was in the right.
The rabbis say that Korah decived himself when he forsaw his descendant Samuel into thinking that he could get off scott-free. He learned the hard way that when you challenge leadership set up by God, you’re really rebelling against God himself. The only thing he didn’t have was Moses’ position, but it was already filled.
I find it interesting that towards the end of Samuel’s day, the people came to him and told him that they wanted a king. God told him that it was not him they were rejecting, but Him.
Squandered potential indeed. Of course, Korah wasn’t alone in his rebelion. Dathan and his brother Abiram were fellow co-conspiritors. Think of them as the left and right hand inciters. Whenever they had an opportunity, they made trouble for Moses. They were always nearby to lead the people into grumbling and complaining. They were also skilled at insulting, but masterminds they were not. So when Korah challenged Moses, they fell in within his fold quickly.
So when Korah challenged Moses, they fell into the ground with him just as quickly. Korah’s sons, however, survived. They probably watched in horror as the rebellion came to a swift end. They probably mourned for their mistaken father.
You have to give the rabbis credit for bringing something extra to the story. When they really want to tell a story, they know how to weave a good one together. Let us not forget though, that Korah, Abiram, and Dathan were actual figures in their history. Just as historic as Aaron and Moses, though not in a good way. There is much to learn from this tragic tale. The best of which is not to squander your potential like Korah did.