Is It A Small Thing? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Cynthia Brewer   
Sunday, 22 July 2012 02:39

Moses and Aaron were chosen by God to be leaders of His people. The people, however, did not always respect or appreciate their leadership. They complained and murmured against them many times. Numbers 16 tells us about a man named Korah who tried to lead an outright rebellion against them. He, along with Dathan, Abiram, and On, gathered 250 men and came to Moses and Aaron. Numbers 16:3 says, “They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, ‘You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?’”


Moses was distraught by their rebellious attitude. Moses knew that he and Aaron did not exalt themselves above the people—it was God who had put them in positions of leadership. It was really Korah and his followers who were taking too much upon themselves (Numbers 16:4-7)! The most striking part of the rebuke that Moses gives Korah is found in verses 8-11:


Then Moses said to Korah, “Hear now, you sons of Levi: Is it a small thing to you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself, to do the work of the tabernacle of the Lord, and to stand before the congregation to serve them; and that He has brought you near to Himself, you and all your brethren, the sons of Levi, with you? And are you seeking the priesthood also? Therefore you and all your company are gathered together against the Lord. And what is Aaron that you complain against him?”


You see, Korah had already been given a role by God. He was a Levite, one who worked in the tabernacle of Jehovah and served the congregation. The Levites had duties and privileges that other Israelites did not have. He was not satisfied with what he had been given to do, and Moses says that by speaking against him and Aaron, Korah and his followers were really coming against Jehovah Himself! You can read the rest of Numbers 16 to see that God caused the earth to open up and swallow Korah and the people with him. God would not tolerate rebellion against Him and His appointed leaders.


This attitude of dissatisfaction with roles given by God can easily be seen in the church today. Many women have chosen to rebel against the leadership of men. They have taken on duties in the church and in the family that are not theirs to take. They have taken too much upon themselves. God has given leadership in the home and in the church to men. When women rebel against that, complain about it, and try to take over, they are actually rebelling against God Himself, just as Korah was. Please take time to read and consider a few passages that instruct us about the role of women: 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, Ephesians 5:22-24, 1 Peter 3:1-6, and Titus 2:4-5.


The wisdom of the world tells us otherwise, but God has spoken on this subject. Instead of complaining, murmuring, and rebelling against the leadership of men and the commands of God, women need to  appreciate the roles that they have been given. Just as Korah already had a special role among the people of God, Christian women have special roles in the church and in the family today. Yet many are simply unwilling to be satisfied with those roles. So I ask you, as Moses asked Korah, “Is it a small thing?”


Is it a small thing to sing and pray before the Lord? Christians have a blessing that the people under the law of Moses did not have. Each of us, man or woman, can approach God directly. The law of Christ allows us to be priests, to come with boldness before the very throne of God! 1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…” The Hebrew writer says that we can have “boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus” (10:19) and that we should “continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name” (13:15). Think about what we are able to do--we can speak directly to God Almighty! Is a woman going to sulk because she cannot be the one standing in front leading the singing of the congregation or because she cannot lead the prayer in the public assembly? Is it a small thing that we can speak directly to God anytime we want to?


Is it a small thing to have communion with the blood and body of Christ? In 1 Corinthians 10:16 Paul writes, “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?” In the next chapter, he tells the Corinthians that the instructions for eating the Lord’s Supper were given to him by Jesus. In eating and drinking as instructed, we “proclaim the Lord’s death” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). We are privileged to have a part in the body and blood of our Lord and to share that experience with fellow Christians each first day of the week. We can even have a role in preparing the bread and the cup so that the members of the congregation can fulfill this command of God. Will women then complain because we are not permitted to stand up front and pass the trays around? Is it a small thing that we can eat and drink what was begun by Jesus Himself before His death?


Is it a small thing to teach the gospel? It seems that some think if they cannot preach from the pulpit they cannot teach the gospel. Just because women are not allowed by God take authority from men in their teaching does not mean they cannot teach at all! Women can be instrumental in teaching classes for children and for other women, and in talking individually to family members and friends. They can teach those who are not Christians how to be saved, and they can help those who are Christians learn more about being pleasing to God. In fact, Paul specifically tells Titus that older women should teach younger women many things (Titus 2:3-5). Women have the opportunity to have a great impact on others through their teaching. We can help souls learn how to get to Heaven! Will we murmur because we cannot speak from the pulpit during the assemblies of the church? Is it a small thing to teach God’s word to children, to other women, and to people we encounter in our lives who may never hear the truth anywhere else?


Is it a small thing to be a helper and companion to your husband? Genesis 2:18-24 tells of the creation of the first woman. God made man first, but He knew it was not good for the man to be alone. Among the animals, however, Adam did not find any creature comparable to him. God then made for the man a “help meet for him.” In the Hebrew, this phrase is two words. “Help” is fairly obvious—an aid for him. “Meet for him” comes from a word that, according to Strong’s dictionary, means a counterpart or mate. This woman that God made would be a compliment to Adam—the same type of being, but having qualities that would compliment and complete his own. God made Eve to be Adam’s companion and helper. We do not like to admit it, but the role of helper is exactly the role for which God created woman. If he made us for that role, why do we rebel against it? Society has convinced us that a helping role is demeaning, but there is no basis for that assumption. Adam needed a companion and a helper—he needed a woman! Wives can provide help and support for their husbands, and that does not just mean a cheering section (although sometimes that may be what is needed). Husbands and wives should be working together in many ways, and the fact that the husband is the head of the family does not mean that the wife’s help is not important! Will we rebel because we do not want to be submissive as God commands? Is it a small thing to have been created by God to be your husband’s companion and helper?


Is it a small thing to be a keeper at home? We have mentioned Titus 2 already, and one of the things that the older women are to teach the younger women is to be keepers, or workers, at home. This concept flies in the face of modern career-minded women. The Christian woman should realize that the job God has given her is a very important one. There is a lot involved in being a homemaker. There is planning, budgeting, shopping, washing, cleaning, organizing, gardening, and cooking to be done. There is teaching, disciplining, and nurturing children to be done. There are errands, visiting, and good deeds for others to be done. The job of homemaker goes right along with the other things that younger women are to be taught, especially loving their husbands and loving their children. We are not just talking about having a feeling of love for them, but a having a love that involves doing everything you can to take care of their needs—physical and spiritual. There is no substitute for the work a wife and mother does in tending to her family. There is no greater task than that of teaching children from their infancy about the word of God. Will we pout because we do not pursue a career that will bring us worldly things? Is it a small thing to fulfill the needs of a husband and children and do your part in guiding your family to Heaven?


Korah was not content in the special role God had given him. Are you? Perhaps just to take our point a little further, we can look at the motive behind the discontent. Korah accused Moses and Aaron of exalting themselves. They had not actually exalted themselves, but that is exactly what Korah was trying to do—exalt himself. Pride is the root of the discontent that we see among women. We do not want to humble ourselves and accept what God has given us to do. We do not want to humble ourselves and submit to our husbands. We do not want to humble ourselves and submit to leaders in the church.


Perhaps some of the problem is that our quiet, behind the scenes work does not draw the attention that the preacher gets after a good sermon on Sunday morning. No one else hears our private prayers. No one sees the effort we put into making communion bread. No one sees what a great job we do teaching the children’s Bible class or how much time we put into preparing for it. No one sees us scrubbing the floors. I think that is what a lot of the fuss is about—much of a woman’s work is private. We are not up in front of everyone. We are not well known for our great communion bread baking. So, women want to move into the roles that will get them more attention. We want a job that will feed our pride! Jesus said that we should not do good deeds or say our prayers for the purpose of being seen by others (Matthew 6:1-6). We are servants of God, and our place is not to exalt ourselves. After telling us to be submissive to each other, Peter tells Christians to “…humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time…” (1 Peter 5:6). We are to obey, humbly, the words of Jehovah. He will do the exalting. What He has given us to do is not a small thing. We have great things to do for the Lord. We need to do what our Lord has asked us to do, and rejoice in the work we can do in His kingdom.

Last Updated on Sunday, 22 July 2012 03:18


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This is the personal page of Kris Brewer, who currently works with the Gallatin Valley church of Christ in Bozeman, Montana.

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