by Rev Lai Kai Ming
Readings: Numbers 15:17-16:40; Psalm 65:1-13
READ (verse/s chosen for meditation)
Then all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up also!” And a fire came out from the Lord and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering incense.
Not too longer ago, we read from Hebrews that our God is a consuming fire (Heb 12:29). Today, we see what that meant. For their rebellion against Moses, the Lord killed Korah and all who colluded with him. Why so serious? Why death and not just a stern warning? We could only assume that the Lord knew the condition of these men’s hearts. Although God is patient and compassionate, it was likely that those who were killed would have spurned His offer of mercy and love anyway.
It is natural for us to get worried when we read an account of God’s judgement like this. We wonder when our sins would bring upon the Lord’s fire upon us, or cause the earth to split. No, I do not believe that God’s children should respond in such fear. God knows that we are weak, and He has already forgiven us in Christ. While we do not want to take God’s grace for granted, neither should we live as though Jesus did not die for us. For the sake of sinners, the fire had consumed the Savior. The next time we sin – do some reflection, say sorry, ask God to help you not to do it again, and move on in peace.
Lord, I know I am weak. Sometimes I feel so helpless against the temptations of this world. Thank you for your promise of help, and of forgiveness when help fails.