Crossing the line

Numbers 16.1-7, 31-35, 46-50

This note was originally published on Monday 7 February 2022.

‘You have gone too far!’


Do you know the feeling when you take something too far? When you cross the line? Do you ever feel that way about complaints in your church family about your church leader(s)?


Numbers 16.1-7, 31-35, 46-50


Like a leaking sewer, the stench of sin spreads far and wide. The pride of a handful (v 1) spread to 250 more (v 2) and then the ‘whole community’ (v 41). This happened 3,500 years ago but people don’t change: how have you seen this play out in your circles, even in your church?

Korah and the others were thinking on a human level. He was a Levite, and they had special responsibilities (v 9) but they weren’t in charge. In fact, neither were priests – God was, and is – but Korah was fixated on human status and power. He compared himself to Aaron instead of focusing on being faithful to his own role serving God’s people. That is what God cares about: the role doesn’t matter, our faithfulness to his call does.

In his pride, Korah crossed the line and took others with him. The consequences were serious and terrifying (vs 31–34). Yet Aaron saved many, standing between the living and the dead (vs 47,48): exactly as our priest Jesus does for us when our pride makes us cross the line.


Pray for those who lead you in your church family, in whatever sense – be imaginative in seeing how different people lead you! Then ask God to help you listen and be faithful as the person he’s called you to be.