Read: Numbers 16:1-50
They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the Lord’s assembly?” Numbers 16:3
Oh, if I had a nickel for every time I heard, “Not fair!” Seriously, if Chris says that one more time… I’m kidding! But if you’re a parent you know exactly what I’m talking about. His piece is bigger! She got to play on the IPad longer! He got to hold the hermit crab more than me! (I know, who wants to hold a hermit crab? My child does. My child. Wants very badly. To hold the hermit crab.) It’s enough to make this mama lose her ever-lovin’ mind.
And the Israelites. Oh, the Israelites – and their whining. And their complaining. And their grumbling. Poor Moses. He gets blamed for everything and now the Levites are angry that Moses is hogging the Lord. Not fair, they cry! We’re just as good as you are, Moses! Why should you be the one who gets to go near the Lord?! Not fair!
Now, the Levites were not exactly a deprived group of Israelites. As a matter of fact, they had special rights and obligations and were “set apart” to perform tasks that only they were allowed to perform. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me. You could say they were blessed. But somehow it wasn’t enough. They looked at what Moses and Aaron had and suddenly their own situation didn’t measure up. Envy reared its ugly head and well, you know the rest of the story. It was not pretty.
Every day we are faced with the same choice as Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. We can choose to set our eyes on ourselves or we can choose to set our eyes on Jesus. When we set our eyes on ourselves, we will become discontent. Every time. No exceptions. And when we become discontent, what everybody else has starts to matter. Our hearts start to mutter, “Not fair!” He has a nicer car! She doesn’t have to work! She has nicer clothes! He always gets recognized at work! He/She has more – (fill in the blank)! Not fair!
But we were meant for so much more than that. When we make the choice to set our eyes on Jesus, contentment comes naturally. When we focus on His sacrificial love for us, His humility, His power – what other people have doesn’t even come into the equation. We’re just grateful to be in Him. It’s all about Him.
Korah, Dathan, and Abiram had the opportunity to recognize their sin and repent. But they didn’t. They continued to be consumed with what Moses had and were not going to stop until they got it. And it ended in death for them and also for their families. (Side note: when we walk in the attitude of “Not fair” we are not the only ones affected – those we love also pay a price – yikes!)
For most of us, me included, this is a struggle. We live in a society that judges our worth based on career, car, clothes, school, bank account, abilities, etc. And when we see so many others get what we don’t, it’s easy to let a “not fair” attitude grow. But as followers of Christ we get to lead the way out of that rat race. We get to be the example of someone who daily makes the choice to set our eyes on Jesus – and live in the contentment that brings.
So as you go through your day, ask God to help you recognize when your heart is saying “not fair!”. I don’t know about you, but I do not want to get swallowed up by a great big sink hole. That would stink.
I’m going to use Psalm 73:25 for our prayer – it’s a great one to memorize to combat envy and discontent!
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
Heavenly Father, may my words and actions bring honor and glory to You. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.