Korach

“They stood before Moses … leaders of the community, chosen in the assembly, men of renown..”
~ Numbers 16:2

Led by Korach, Moses’ leadership was challenged by a group of important people.

Why portray their prestigious stature with three different descriptions of greatness?

To emphasise that just because you’re a big-shot, it doesn’t mean you can’t make mistakes. On the contrary, because you’re a big-shot your mistakes will be even bigger.

Climbing another rung on the ladder of success doesn’t increase your resistance to falling. It just makes the potential fall longer.

So as you climb higher, hold tighter.

Shelach

“Don’t follow after your heart and your eyes.”
~ Numbers 15:39

As spiritual beings living in a material world, we need to walk through life carefully without being led astray by our desires.

But shouldn’t the eyes come first in the verse; doesn’t the heart follow after them?

While it’s true we’re tempted by what we see, the eyes only see what the heart desires. Perception is formed long before we even open our eyes, so we see what we want.

For clarity’s sake – don’t clean your glasses – purify your heart.

Behaalotecha

“We remember the fish that we ate in Egypt for free.”
~ Numbers 11:5

Bored with eating manna twice a day, the Israelites complained.

But slaves work for their food, so what was free in Egypt?

Their nostalgia wasn’t on the fish but the lack of strings attached to it. As slaves in Egypt their work paid for their food, so they weren’t indebted to their masters. The manna, however, was given free so they became morally-obligated to God.

The desire to not feel indebted is so powerful that people prefer slavery over freedom!