Korah… Dathan, and Abiram… became insolent and rose up against Moses. Numbers 16:1-2 (NIV)
In other words, they developed an attitude. Everything that follows in this story flows from a bad attitude.
Their plunge to disaster began with the way they talked about their leader around the campfire. This kind of backroom complaining is the sort of thing that can develop easily in an office, a boardroom, or in a classroom. You find it in families and in churches.
When we are told that they “became insolent,” it seems a small thing, but it was the beginning of big trouble. There is something in us all that dislikes authority, so it is not surprising that others were drawn to them: “With them were 250 Israelite men, well-known community leaders who had been appointed members of the council” (16:2).
This was well organized. There had been a number of breakfast meetings to talk about it. There had been careful canvassing to see how many council members were on board. These 250 leaders had lost confidence in Moses. They all thought that it was time for a change.
“They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and said to them: ‘You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the Lord’s assembly?” (16:3). This was a direct challenge to the uniqueness of Moses’ position.
God had said, “With him I speak face to face… he sees the form of the Lord” (12:8), but Korah was convinced that everybody could come to God in their own way. Why should we be restricted to what God says to Moses? Why should the priests only come from Aaron’s family? Why should his family be the only ones who bring the censers filled with fire? What’s so special about them?
Could the way you’re talking about a pastor, leader, or teacher be the beginning of a plunge to disaster?