Selfish ambition reveals its presence in the heart of man when a man craves what God has given to another.
Unchecked, selfish ambition percolates into envious thoughts and envious thoughts mature into destructive actions.
Korah, a distant cousin to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, envies Moses" leadership position in Israel. He resents the elevation of his cousins over him, the Levites, and the entire congregation. Never mind that Korah and the Kohathites were graciously given the prestigious assignment of caring for the Most Holy Place and its furnishings. "Wounded" by this perceived slight, Korah focuses on the one thing he cannot have―the priesthood. He wants what God has given Moses, and he campaigns to acquire it. Korah's "woundedness" leads to open rebellion.
This situation reveals a number of truths about selfish ambition:
Moses responds by declaring that Korah's battle isn't with him but with the LORD, "Therefore you and all your company are gathered together against the LORD" (16:11). The LORD opens up the ground and swallows up Korah and his men, while the fire consumes the band of 250 who offered incense. The following day the assembly grumbles against Moses, and 14,700 of them die in a plague. Wow! How many would die if God dealt with the selfishly ambitious in the pews of our churches today?
"But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there" (James 3:14-16).
What was the basis of Dathan and Abiram's rebellion?
How does the LORD distinguish Moses and Aaron from their relatives (including the regulations given in chapter 18)?
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The 365 Daily Devotion, written by Iva May, is a brief devotion drawn from the day’s reading of the One Year® Chronological Bible delivered to your email. Each daily devotion concludes with several questions that strengthen reading engagement.