Skepticism. If someone is skeptical we call them a skeptic…but that’s not a bad thing, is it? What could be wrong with questioning?? Skepticism is defined as an attitude of doubt in general or towards a particular object. So, I guess in some cases skepticism could be a good trait…it could keep us from being taken advantage of or used. But what about when we become skeptical of the wrong things…the God things?
Numbers 16:1-35 shows us a detailed account of the dangers of being skeptical concerning the God things in our life. In this passage the children of Israel were wandering in the wilderness. Three people, Korah, Dotham and Abiram, came before Moses and Aaron with complaints. They were questioning whether God had really appointed Moses into his leadership role over them. They basically felt they were all holy and that Moses should be no better than them. They were so convinced they were in the right that they decided to bring the “big guns” with them! They rounded up 250 of the men of renown in the congregation (the well-known and respected guys) and got them on their side against Moses. So, what started as skepticism in three men has now spread like a curse through the people. Now, we have a large group questioning Moses’ leadership and God’s decision to appoint him to that role.
Moses, being a godly man, attempted to make them see that their position in the congregation, while different from his, was still important. They refused to listen to reason and blamed him for their not being in the Promised Land yet. They allowed their skepticism to totally take control of their rational thought. They became so doubtful and so questioning that they, as a result, became completely blind and deaf to God’s truth. They believed what they believed the way they wanted to believe it and there was no convincing them otherwise! Know anyone like that?! God was so angered by these skeptics He ordered Moses and Aaron to separate from the congregation so His wrath could consume them all!! Moses interceded and begged God not to punish all of the people…not to destroy everyone for the sin of a few.
God made it clear that Moses was His chosen leader for His people…He heard Moses’ plea and showed mercy in His judgement. He caused the earth to open up and swallow Korah, Dathan and Abiram along with their family and possessions! God then sent a fire to consume the 250 big-wigs that had backed the skepticism of the three men. This account is an excellent example of how skepticism cannot only destroy us but can also endanger the future of our loved ones as well!
So what can we learn from this?? First, while having a questioning mind can be an asset in some situations, it is never in our best interest when it comes to God. We need to be careful how we interact with those that God has placed in authority over our lives…and no matter what our position, title, job, age…God does place people in authority over us! I have learned that I need to just trust when God places someone in authority over me. He isn’t doing it to be mean or oppressive…everything God does in our life is for our good. We need to trust Him!! In the past I have found that if I resist that leadership I may find myself in a place where I am swallowed up in the pit of my skepticism, self-importance and sin. Being skeptical of those God has placed in our lives is in turn being skeptical of God Himself…not a good place to be. I am not ever saying to just blindly follow man, but we should always, always, always follow God and His leading. We can’t let pride lead to questioning God’s plan!
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.”