This past week the Daily Office lessons from the Old Testament have come from Numbers. Quite an interesting book and full of drama! The story of Korrah and the Levites who were unhappy with not being priests is actually some good comedic material.
Basically, the story is that some Levites are unhappy that they don't get to make sacrifices. Their rally cry is that all the congregation is holy and therefore there is no need for a special priesthood. "Everyone is equal and everyone has the right to offer the sacrifices," goes their line of thought. How does the story end? God gets upset and Korrah and his comrades are destroyed. There's also a plague that is minimized by the intercession of Moses and Aaron. The two men whose ministry was targeted by Korrah are the ones who end up saving the day.
The episode is a little funny, or at least can be interpreted that way as can much of that part of Scripture. The Israelites complain that they have no food, then God gives them manna. Right after that, they start to complain about not having meat and God then sends them mountains of birds to eat. The cycle is Israel complains / God gives solution with consequences / Israel finds another thing to complain about. I guess that's not the pinnacle of comedy, but God surely has to be throwing hands up in the air wondering aloud to the host of heaven, "What am I to do with these people?"
Where's the comedy in this episode? Israel is complaining that some people are made special when they themselves are special in comparison to the nations. Remember, God chose Israel to be a special, holy people. Out of all the nations, God chose the descendants of Jacob to receive a parcel of land and to receive the covenant and the Law.
The chosen people complaining about some of their numbers being chosen for a special service is a little ironic, isn't it?
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