Thursday, June 6, 2013
Here Down Under we have a saying “stirring the pot” we are no different than any other cultural group in the world. In Spanish and in Italian there are similar saying, the same saying is well know in the UK and other English speaking communities. This led me to think what is the genesis of this proverb, not sure but whoever coined the term must have been through experience. Just this week I was talking to someone very dear to me and we were talking about a common fruit (Quince) that can be made into a jam like sweet. I asked, do you make sweet out of Quince, and his reply was, “ no because last time my lovely wife was making the sweet she asked me for help and I ended up getting burned while stirring”.
This was my trigger and is exactly what came to mind when I started reading this week’s parasha. We have been following all the steps over the last few months and we have seen the progression of the children of Israel from suffering oppression to the redemption and the experience of seeing YHVH come down and meet with them at Mt Sinai and the giving of the Torah, to the Golden calf incident and the incident of the two sons of Aaron, being consumed by fire because of the strange fire. We are truly like sheep, a little thick sometimes, well most of the time. We do not seem to learn from our mistakes, and to get the Egypt out of us takes more than a generation sometimes.
Here we have Korach and other princes, Levites, having a family feud, wanting to get into a position of power without considering that the grass really is not greener on the other side, stirring the pot and getting burned for it. The one person that was leading them did not wanted the job in the first place, but YHVH, and not a committee chose him. “You have made a ruler over us” that was the charge from Korach and the other three princes of Israel. But what was the motivation really of these unruly individual?, coming to defy YHVH Himself, by their actions. The fundamental reason was and is greed and the lust for power and control over others. If we look at this instance and from the knowledge in hindsight, that history is cyclic, we know that this happens often and that it will happen again. It has been prophesized that the son of perdition the false prophet and the antichrist will also suffer the same fate as Korach and the others.
Even though they that suffered the punishment of going to sheol alive, saw the presence and the power of YHVH they failed to see with their spiritual eyes. They were blinded, and we can go even further by saying they were not spiritually viable, alive to understand that they were not lifting themselves above Moses but above YHVH.
Further proof of this fact is that immediately after Korach and the others were swallowed alive the congregation came back to Moses with further accusation of causing harm to their fellow Israelites. Once again they failed to see that it was not Moses but YHVH that punished those that raised themselves above Him. Does the God of the heavens wants to smite men? Never he wants all to come to His presence, that is His character a loving God not a vengeful one, but having said that He has boundaries that must not be overstepped. The sign of the rods that were placed in front of the ark was to serve to future generations what happens to those that want to arrogate that which was put in place by YHVH.
What do we learn from this? Well one principle that always works, in just any application, is that if we concentrate on the right things to do, we wont have enough time to do the wrong things. In other words, if Korach and the other princes had spent more time dedicated to the service of YHVH, they would not have coveted Moses role nor lusted after power. This is a good lesson, what we do matter and the intentions of our actions even more. We choose the level of Kadosh, holiness we live. If we are not holy we are then profane, no grey lines in the kingdom of YHVH, one or the other, your choice today what do you want to be. Yeshua our master is our example of a holy life, and we are commanded to be imitators of Yeshua, what better example of holiness. Shalom