Swallowed by the Earth
The tribe of Levi had been honored by God as the guardians of the Tabernacle. They alone were entrusted with maintaining this house for God’s presence among the Israelites.
Only the High Priest—Moses’s brother Aaron—and his family could enter the holiest place where God’s glory hovered around the Ark of the Covenant. It was there that the most sacred offerings were made to atone for the people.
This didn’t sit well with the other Levites.
So Korah and his closest Levite cohorts, Dathan and Abiram, decided to stand up against what seemed like a gratuitous case of nepotism and make their claim for this most sacred honor.
Moses already knew what would come of this. He instructed Korah to assemble the 250 priests he’d rallied for the cause to come to the Tabernacle prepared to offer incense to God.
As the circle of 250 bronze bowls burned, God’s furious glory appeared in the midst.
Moses shouted above the din to get away from these three men and announced everyone should trust these men rather than him—if they avoid a supernatural death.
As soon as the words left his mouth, the ground split wide open and swallowed Korah, Dathan and Abiram into the abyss.
Panic ensued. The congregation scrambled for their lives, afraid the ground beneath their feet could disappear at any moment.
Hysteria turned to paralyzing fear when moments later fire erupted from the midst of the circle, consuming all the 250 men who brought the incense that day.
When the dust had settled, the bowls were collected and hammered down as plating for an altar, as a public reminder to the people that God’s holy strategy was in place, and would not be hindered. The great plan was too important.
Written by Troy DeShano