Psalms Book 2 (42-49) and Numbers 16
If someone and all their family, all those who were associated with them and their possessions fall into the depths of the earth as God opens up fissures in the earth’s surface and it is then closed over them, one would assume there is no coming back from that. That is what is recorded in Numbers 16.31-33. Indeed, for those individuals there was no good ending but somehow some descendants did survive and they became significant authors of psalms. Korah was a ring leader of a rebellion against Moses and consequentially against the Lord’s authority. Numbers 16.1-3 Their rebellion included trying to usurp Aaron’s priesthood Num 16.10,11 and Moses’ leadership of them into the desert and out of slavery in Egypt. The Old Testament contains examples of the fear of the Lord that are usually more graphic than in the New Testament. They are however there, consider Ananias and Sapphira Acts 5.1-11 and Herod Agrippa. Acts 12.20-25 Whilst salvation through the grace and love of God through Jesus is the dominant gospel message a caution about the seriousness of rebellion against God and fear of the Lord in the rounded biblical sense is appropriate.
Repeatedly in scripture where God has taken action in judgement there is a message of restoration as well. We see this worked out in the history of Old Testament Israel and Judah. The ‘Sons of Korah’ (descendants) are an illustration of this. They were musical worship leaders appointed by David and would lead processions to worship God. ‘I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng’. Ps 42.4 The Sons of Korah were the composers and authors of the first eight psalms in Book 2 of Psalms. A feature of their writing was the use of Elohim (God) in preference to Yahweh (Lord). This represents a change from David’s use of Lord (Yahweh) in Book 1. Whilst we cannot be certain of the reason for this it may reflect the fear of the Lord, as in their family history, as possibly Yahweh, the great Name, was thought too holy for common use.
As we progress in our reflections in Book 2 of Psalms we will find the theme of lament occurs repeatedly. From this we can gain comfort that bringing our sorrows, regrets, disappointments and griefs to God is a positive thing to do. Even in our saddest of times we can worship the Lord in honesty.
How conscious are we of the holiness and greatness of God?
Are we able to give thanks for the times the Lord has restored our relationship with him?
Can we support someone else in finding restoration through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ?
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom – Tommy Walker