8. ONE IS FULLY ACCOUNTABLE FOR HIMSELF AT THE AGE OF TWENTY, IF NOT SOONER.
Number 14:29 - "The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above."
God did not hold those who were teenagers (or younger) accountable for complaining or rebellion to the same extent He did older Israelites (though it is certain that some of them complained, following the lead of others). A 16-year-old Israelite might have been guilty of murmuring like his 20-year-old sibling, but God did not punish the 16-year-old in this case. The line had to be drawn somewhere for we know that a child (or young person) does not have the same level of responsibility as an adult. I find it interesting that the LORD used the age of 20 as a general, across-the-board, cutoff point. In God's eyes, one is fully accountable for his own actions by that age, and probably much sooner in most cases today. Does this mean that a 16-year-old living today is not accountable for his actions? I am not suggesting that. Personal experience illustrates that young people mature at different rates, and some are fully accountable for themselves at a much younger age. I believe we are safe in using the age of 20 as an upper-limit for accountability, since the Lord Himself did such here. In God's eyes, a 20-year-old is as responsible for his behavior as a 50-year-old is, all other things being equal.
9. IF GOD SAYS IT IS WRONG, IT IS--NO MATTER HOW INNOCENT IT MAY SEEM.
"Now while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron, and to all the congregation. They put him under guard, because it had not been explained what should be done to him. Then the LORD said to Moses, 'The man must surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.' So, as the LORD commanded Moses, all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him with stones, and he died."Picking up sticks on a Saturday doesn't sound like a wicked behavior, but it was since God had forbidden His people from working on the last day of each week. The man who was gathering sticks lost his life. Friends, our opinions and feelings are secondary to God's word. When God says something is wrong, it is--period.
10. BE CONTENT WITH THE ROLE GOD HAS GIVEN YOU AND THE ROLE HE HAS GIVEN OTHERS.
Numbers 16:3 - "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?'"
Korah, the leader of this rebellion, was a Levite. He already had a special role as a servant in the tabernacle (cf. 16:9,10). However, he wasn't content with that. He wanted to be a priest, also. Truth be told, he surely could have performed the physical aspects of a priests' duty as well as Aaron or his sons. But that's not the point! The point is that God had not given him that role, and therefore he simply wasn't qualified. Christians need to learn this lesson today. God has given the role of leadership to men (cf. I Tim. 2 & 3). Are there women who could effectively execute the work of an elder or preacher? I'm sure there are, but that is not the point. God has not given women that role, and when they seek it they are--like Korah--exalting themselves against the LORD. Let us learn to be content with our God-given roles.