Every sin of mankind can be boiled down to these three things: lust, greed and pride. 1 John 2:16
Often we see all three roots at work together. Lust leads to greed and pride rationalizes why we deserve that thing and that no one will find out what we’ve done.
This concept is clearly seen in the lives of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.
They wanted a higher position in the temple, and instead of being grateful to God for the role they already had they allowed greed to eat at them until they couldn’t take it anymore. Seizing their supposed right, they attacked Moses and accused him of assuming himself better than everyone else (a sin they themselves were guilty of in this whole situation)…
and they led other Levites with them in this rebellion.
Lust, greed and pride.
The problem starts when we fail to consider every sin as a serious offense.
Naturally we consider big sins a serious thing, but every big sin starts as a small sin.
Lust begins with a look
Murder begins with anger
Stealing begins with ungratefulness
Little weeds can create a huge disaster if we don’t pull them out right away!
And the price of sin is so very high!
There is a saying I’ve heard my whole life:
Sin will take you farther than you want to go,
Keep you longer than you want to stay,
and costs you more than you want to pay.
We we certainly see that in Numbers.
That day when the earth swallowed Korah, Dathan and Abiram and their families, the fire of God also killed 250 Levites.
After that the Israelites complained against Moses accusing him of killing “the people of the Lord.” The price for their sin was another 14,700 people.
“For the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23a
Moses and Aaron also paid a price for their sin.
In Numbers 11 we see that Moses began to grow angry because of the children of Israel. When they complained that they wanted to eat meat, Moses went before God and prayed,
“Why have You afflicted Your servant? And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all these people on me? Did I conceive all these people? Did I beget them, that You should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom, as a guardian carries a nursing child,’ to the land which You swore to their fathers? Where am I to get meat to give to all these people? For they weep all over me, saying, ‘Give us meat, that we may eat.’ I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me. If You treat me like this, please kill me here and now—if I have found favor in Your sight—and do not let me see my wretchedness!”
We would want to think that he is justified in his anger because the people frustrated him with their constant complaining.
Yes, there is a righteous anger, but righteous anger and quickly turn to sin when we are no longer angry at the sin and Satan that temps people to sin and grow angry at the people who sin.
This was Moses’ sin.
When they molded the golden calf, he was angry at the sin because God is a jealous God = Righteous Anger.
But in Numbers 11 we see that he’d allowed his anger to become sin when he grew angry at the Israelites, and in his prayer actually takes it out on God!
It built up inside of him until he explodes in Numbers 20.
When the children of Israel once again complain against Moses and Aaron because there was no water, God told them to speak to the rock.
Rather than obeying God and speaking to the rock, he turned to the people and rebuked them by saying, “Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?”
Then he struck the rock with his staff.
God was merciful to the Israelites and gave them water, but Moses and Aaron were punished for their sin.
There punishment wasn’t only that they were no longer allowed to lead the children of Israel into the desert, because they could have just continued to wander in the desert for the rest of their lives. There punishment was death.
Before the end of the chapter we read about Aaron’s death: “Aaron shall be gathered to his people, for he shall not enter the land which I have given to the children of Israel, because you rebelled against My word at the water of Meribah.”
“For the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23
The cost of sin is high!
Too high to allow ourselves to think that it’s not very important.
Because God said, “For I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy.” Leviticus 11:44
“As obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16