Two Sides to Holiness (Numbers 16:35-39)

Numbers 16:35-39


35 And fire came out from the Lord and consumed the 250 men offering the incense.

36 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 37 “Tell Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest to take up the censers out of the blaze. Then scatter the fire far and wide, for they have become holy. 38 As for the censers of these men who have sinned at the cost of their lives, let them be made into hammered plates as a covering for the altar, for they offered them before the Lord, and they became holy. Thus they shall be a sign to the people of Israel.”


            In the midst of Korah’s rebellion, 250 other men declared themselves to be as holy and as capable as Moses to lead the people of Israel. God, as many of us will remember, destroyed Korah and the men who opposed Moses. What has my attention this morning, however, is the question of holiness.


            Notice, in the passage above, the 250 men died after being touched by the fire of the Lord. The censors that the men held were, however, not destroyed. Instead, the censors became holy. The fire of the Lord made the devices of the evil men holy.


            Think about the holiness of God. God’s holiness makes what we consider ordinary to be extremely special. At the same time, God’s holiness is absolutely deadly to sinful men. It all depends on how we encounter that holiness of God.


            What about you? How will you encounter God’s holiness? If you encounter the holiness of God without spiritual protection, you will be destroyed. However, if you seek God’s grace in Christ and get under his mercy, his holiness will sanctify you, setting you apart for glorious service.

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