FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH
For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside.
I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
One morning as I was reading the Psalms, my eyes caught the phrase “Sons of Korah” My mind flashed back to Korah’s rebellion during the Exodus from Egypt, the censors, the tabernacle, the earth swallowing him up. Over the years, I became wildly fascinated with Korah’s story and the ten psalms attributed to his sons. I was intrigued how his descendants were spared from judgment and death. What was the message there, I wondered?
Korah’s story, though indelibly marked as a dark stain on the reverence and obedience gauge in Hebrew history, is laden with hope, redemption, and restoration. Although we might presume that Korah’s sons endured untold shame and disgrace as a result of their father’s transgression and rebellion, miraculously, they rose above the humiliation and dishonor. Whereas Korah treated the Lord contemptuously and leveraged his Levitical heritage for more prestige, honor, and power, his sons were content to be near the Lord no matter their area of service.
Psalm 84 suggests the sons’ delight in being doorkeepers; “door keeping” would not have been enough for their father. Korah’s sons longed to be used by God however and wherever God saw fit. They were willing to stand and work on the peripheral grounds (doorkeepers and musicians) because they knew that son-ship with their Creator had nothing to do with physical location. They wanted the “courts” (or God’s presence) more than anything else. The benefits of living life in an upright fashion at the “threshold of God’s house” far, far surpassed any tantalizing beckoning coming from a darkened world. The Sons of Korah had hearts bent toward the Lord and His ways. They learned how to move from the courts, to the threshold, and then to the altar. Can I say the same of my own heart? Does my heart pant for the things of the Lord? Does my soul cry out for the Living God?
Korah’s rebellion made history and served as a bone-bare warning for all generations that followed. The sons of Korah also made history and now serve as a reminder of God’s restoration, mercy, and blessing for those of us whose hearts and minds are squarely set upon daily service to and communion with our Lord and Redeemer.
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