Numbers 16: Loving His Enemies

What would you do?

For the last few years, you have been breaking your back for these people. You have done nothing but help them.

You helped them get out of slavery. You helped them survive an attack from several rival armies. You helped them find food in the desert. You helped them become a “people” with an identity and a purpose.

Not once have you asked for anything in return.

And suddenly, they all turn on you. They start accusing you of a whole host of things you have not done.

“You have gone too far! . . . you exalt yourself above the assembly of the LORD?”
“It is clear you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey.”
“You have killed the people of the LORD!”

What would you do?

I’m not sure what I would do, but it probably wouldn’t be what Moses did.

Falling On Your Face

In Numbers 16, each time something terrible looks like it is about to happen, Moses falls on his face. Either this is hilarious, or deeply significant. I’m going with the second choice.

Falling on your face is an act of intense pleading, beseeching, or begging.

The first time he does it to Korah, the source of the complaining and accusations. As if to say, “don’t do this! You don’t know what you are getting yourself into.”

The second time is to God. He begs for God to spare the people. “Shall one person sin and you become angry with the whole congregation?”

The third is again to God. And again when God is about to do some serious “wrath-ing.”

Korah doesn’t listen, but God does and countless lives are saved.

Loving His Enemies

Moses continues to get blamed for things God does. (That deserves a book all by itself!) Anyway, the final straw for the people is after God destroys Korah’s rebellious posse. They accuse Moses of murder.

God makes it clear that some serious s*** is about to go down.

I wouldn’t blame Moses for a second if he had just held tight and waited for them all to die, but that’s not what he did.

He ordered Aaron to run out and make atonement for the people; the very same people who had been accusing him.

What is wrong with this guy?!

These people owe him everything and show their thanks by demanding his head on a plate. And all he does is fight for them.

He falls on his face. He pleads. He begs. He argues on their behalf.

And God listens. God limits his wrath because one man begged him to.

Apparently a person’s love and commitment to another person or group of people can effect the way God interacts with them.

What would it take for you to fall on your face and plead for your “enemies?”

8 responses

  1. “In Numbers 16, each time something terrible looks like it is about to happen, Moses falls on his face. Either this is hilarious, or deeply significant. I’m going with the second choice.”
    I laughed out loud when I read “either this is hilarious” because all of a sudden all I could picture was Moses randomly walking around and falling over – I’m actually crying a little from the laughing – thanks for that, wasn’t expecting that to appear to me as so funny, ha!

    I love how Moses forshadows Jesus in this way – you have showed that as very clear in this picking up on Moses tireless advocating in your post… love it!!

    For me, I am finding it a little easier to pray for enemies after one significant forgiving of enemy moment in my life – totally God-lead! but I pray and hope and ask God to help me feel ‘that’ all the time for my enemy or those who hurt me… the freedom in that one particular case is so immense I have never experienced anything like it before and it makes me WANT to forgive quicker… I had never hated to that extent before and my life was never as ruined or my heart never as broken than this situation caused it to be, i still even have physical and mental side effects from it, but i would gladly sit and eat with the person today such is the clarity in my heart after God lead me through forgivness. I wish every scenario could be processed the same way and for that…I would fall on my face to see that change in my life and heart!

    • Thanks for sharing. I am becoming more and more convinced that forgiving and loving enemies is one of, if not THE, most powerful things we can do as those who follow this God.

  2. I do this every day of my life. It is why I am a hermit, to intercede before God for all humanity. It is not a fun job, but it is mandatory, for humanity is loved by God, but humans have a way of being massively ungrateful.

  3. Challenging post.

    True love for others, wills the best for them. It’s not about Moses trying to get something out of the deal, it’s about helping others learn to love and draw near to God.

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