Numbers 16 made a dramatic movie scene: Moses spoke about how Korah and his buddies had defied God Himself, so their punishment should come directly from God’s own hand. Let the earth swallow them alive! And so it was.
Do you see the symbolism? Their contention was groundless; it was a lie against God and His reality. The Tectonic Plate Theory should make you feel small and humble, because there is nothing in this world — including the earth on which we stand — that cannot be altered radically at God’s whim. There is a matching symbolism in prophetic literature about stars falling from the sky and the sun and moon hiding their faces. The lights in the sky we use to keep track of the cycles of life can turn against us, too, if we push too far against God’s truth.
Korah’s Rebellion represents an attempt to reject the revelation as Moses proclaimed it. The whole business of the Covenant proposed a new theology and Korah’s cabal were trying to reassert their old pagan mythology. What you see in Korah’s public dispute reflects the heathen assumptions about a pantheon of deities who were not truly different from mankind, just a little more powerful. They were convinced that anyone who approaches a deity with the proper protocols and offerings could demand certain things from them. They were angry because they imagined that Moses was hiding the spells that anyone could have used to perform those miracles. Jehovah made it a point to say how He resented being associated with that crap. There comes a point when the blasphemy is too much, and He acts to punish the insult.
We are in just such a time in Western Civilization when God has had enough insult. We should expect the ground itself to open up and the lights in the sky to fall down on our heads. Everything people have trusted and taken for granted will show themselves more alive and variable than anyone is prepared to believe. It’s not so much the physical reality of natural disasters — though we should expect to see some of that — but the moral symbolism of being unable to trust your assumptions about reality. People will be in shock; they’ll go bonkers as the world they thought they knew rebels against them.
The only place you can find a point of anchorage is in your own soul. If the Rock of Truth is not a part of your being, then you have no place to stand, and nothing to help you keep track as reference points to reality.
Even in the best of times, for evangelism you and I often have to wait until someone experiences a personal version of that turmoil. Against their personal turmoil, you and I can stand on the Truth of God and capture their attention by how we handle chaos. We become centered on a personal sense of order and divine justice. But in these days Our Lord is yanking the earth out from under a whole civilization. There will be an awful lot of people looking for a solid anchorage and some of them will see us handling it with peace.
The issue is not that we face things with a deep passion, as if our sanity rested on accomplishing things. Rather, our sanity is the source of the passion. We know what we are called by God to try to do, regardless how it works out. Our identity is the passion we have for Our Lord’s glory, not merely all the ways it can be made to shine. One way or another, we shine for Him.
Do you remember when Jesus walked on the sea? When there was no solid ground, He floated on the surface, buoyed by His divine purpose. He was His own center of gravity. Let’s walk out there with Him.