Numbers 16 … Consider This Is His Doing

I’ve heard the story of Korah’s rebellion, read through it more than once, but familiarity does little in minimizing its impact; it’s shocking and irrational. How does it happen?

These men led by Korah, a Levite, consecrated to the privileged work of serving in the tabernacle, rose up against God’s appointed leader. It must be some form of dementia; there’s no other reasonable explanation in light of their first hand experiences over the past year out of Egypt. Had they forgotten everything?

The LORD had proven His sovereignty, might and power time and time again. He had demonstrated His dominion over every situation by His Almighty Hand. Who could be so foolish as to deny This Is His Doing, and who would be so foolish as to choose to take their stand against Him?

Consider This Is His Doing

Moses said, “By this you shall know that the Lord has sent me to do all these deeds; for this is not my doing,” (16:28).

Mistakenly, Korah and his inattentive followers determined Moses had usurped his authority from what should be dispersed amongst the other qualified leaders. These men were leaders in the congregation, men of renown in the assembly, but chose not to submit to the LORD’s established order.

and they rose up before Moses, together with some of the sons of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, chosen in the assembly, men of renown,” (16:2).

In rising up against Moses, they neglected to consider the ultimate target of their rebellion; they failed to recognize This Is His Doing.

  • This Is His Doing: His choice of leadership.
    • When Moses heard this, he fell on his face; and he spoke to Korah and all his company, saying, “Tomorrow morning the Lord will show who is His, and who is holy, and will bring him near to Himself; even the one whom He will choose, He will bring near to Himself, (16:4-5).
  • This Is His Doing: His designation of service.
    • Then Moses said to Korah, “Hear now, you sons of Levi, is it not enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself, to do the service of the tabernacle of the Lord, and to stand before the congregation to minister to them; 10 and that He has brought you near, Korah, and all your brothers, sons of Levi, with you? And are you seeking for the priesthood also? (16:8-10).
  • This Is His Doing: His judgment on those who rebelled.
    • “But if the Lord brings about an entirely new thing and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that is theirs, and they descend alive into Sheol, then you will understand that these men have spurned the Lord.” 31 As he finished speaking all these words, the ground that was under them split open; 32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who belonged to Korah with their possessions… 35 Fire also came forth from the Lord and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering the incense, (16:30-32, 35).
  • This Is His Doing: His reminder of His unapproachable holiness.
    • So Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers which the men who were burned had offered, and they hammered them out as a plating for the altar, 40 as a reminder to the sons of Israel that no layman who is not of the descendants of Aaron should come near to burn incense before the Lord; so that he will not become like Korah and his company—just as the Lord had spoken to him through Moses, (16:39-40).
  • This Is His Doing: His wrath sent forth on those who grumbled.
    • But on the next day all the congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron, saying, “You are the ones who have caused the death of the Lord’s people.” 42 It came about, however, when the congregation had assembled against Moses and Aaron, that they turned toward the tent of meeting, and behold, the cloud covered it and the glory of the Lord appeared… 46 Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer and put in it fire from the altar, and lay incense on it; then bring it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them, for wrath has gone forth from the Lord, the plague has begun!” (16:41-42, 46).
  • This Is His Doing: His atonement and rescue from His holy wrath.
    • Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer and put in it fire from the altar, and lay incense on it; then bring it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them, for wrath has gone forth from the Lord, the plague has begun!” 47 Then Aaron took it as Moses had spoken, and ran into the midst of the assembly, for behold, the plague had begun among the people. So he put on the incense and made atonement for the people. 48 He took his stand between the dead and the living, so that the plague was checked, (16:46-48).

How do we respond when considering This Is His Doing?

Tucked within this account of His swift and strict judgment by His Doing, is the depiction of our only hope.

He took his stand between the dead and the living, so that the plague was checked, (16:48).

Scripture is clear:

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23).

For the wages of sin is death… (Romans 6:23).

Only Jesus, our Mediator, can stand between the dead and the living. Only Jesus can stand between the sinner, dead in transgression and sin, and the Eternal, Living and Holy God. Only Jesus can check the plague of sin; This Is His Doing!

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord, (Romans 6:23).

For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, (1 Timothy 2:5).

When we place our faith in His mediation accomplished by His sacrifice on the cross, we are born again and set free from the plague and power of sin, set free to live in, and under, His grace.

How much sorrow and suffering we would spare ourselves if we only recognized His sovereignty over every part of our lives. It is foolish pride to think otherwise. If we would be quick to utter, “This Is His Doing,” choosing to remember His Sovereignty, Holiness, Lovingkindness and Grace, how our faith would increase.

“If I will do my duty, not for duty’s sake but because I believe God is engineering my circumstances, then at the very point of my obedience all of the magnificent grace of God is mine through the glorious atonement by the Cross of Christ.”

My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. (If you are not familiar with this devotional, I highly recommend it. It is available in bookstores; you can also download it as an app or find it free online at

Wherever He places us, whatever positions He appoints, let us choose to believe and trust This Is His Doing rather than allowing pride to rear its ugly head and rise up in accusatory grumbling. Let us determine to respond in obedience and faith, depending upon His grace so lavishly bestowed on us through His extravagant sacrifice on the cross.

Whatever “things” we encounter, we can be assured He is working them together for our good and for our sanctification, that we would be conformed to the image of His Son.

And perhaps, with each passing day, we might find ourselves looking just a little bit more like Jesus. Surely this will bring us to our knees in praise, utter amazement and thanksgiving, as we lift our voices and cry out, “Look what He has done, look what only He can do…This Is His Doing!”

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified, (Romans 8:28-30).

Let’s Grow Together!

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