Now [Korah, with Dathan, Abiram, and On,] together with some of the sons of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, chosen in the assembly, men of renown, assembled together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, "You have gone far enough, for all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is in their midst; so why do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?”
When Moses heard this, he spoke to Korah and all his company, saying, "Tomorrow morning the LORD will show who is His [choice for leader]. (Numbers 16:1-5 contracted in places for simplicity) (NASB unless noted)
As he finished speaking all these words, the ground that was under them split open; and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who belonged to Korah with their possessions. (Numbers 16:31-32)
Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses and they said, "Has the LORD indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us as well?" And the LORD heard it.
Then the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud and stood at the doorway of the tent, and He called Aaron and Miriam. But when the cloud had withdrawn from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow. (Numbers 12:1-10 modified for simplicity)
Both these stories depict the act and consequences of questioning and/or acting rebellious toward God’s selected leader.
These accounts, as with all those in the Bible, act as principles which we can and should use to govern our behaviour or at least to know what to expect should we choose not to.
I wonder if the punishment experienced by the Korah group, and the discipline experienced by Miriam, reflected the consequences of their rebellion rather than a causative action of God against them. By that, I mean their action placed them outside of God’s ability to deliver them from evil—except perhaps to degree—as we read in the Lord’s Prayer.
It’s a matter of cause and effect.
"Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the LORD your God. (Deuteronomy 28:1-2)
"But it shall come about, if you do not obey the LORD your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you. (Deuteronomy 28:15)
It’s very simple actually:
If you obey God’s instructions, blessings will overtake you.
If you do not obey God instructions, curses will overtake you.
These are principles by which we can live and evaluate our life experiences—especially with respect to our attitude and actions toward those God has placed in positions authority over us.
In Ephesians 2-6, Paul speaks to the various levels of authority established by God, within the body of Christ, starting with Jesus as the cornerstone, the five offices/levels of leadership, the husband, parents, and the slaveowner:
Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. Ephesians 2:20-22
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-12
The wives! to your own husbands subject yourselves, as to the Lord, For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church...and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:22, 33 (YLT)
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Ephesians 6:1
Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters. Ephesians 6:5
This principle, that of submitting to those God has placed in positions of higher authority within the assembly, i.e. the ekklesia, is what Paul was addressing in Romans 13:1:
Let every soul be subject to the authorities that are above [him]. For there is no authority except from God; and those that exist are set up by God. Romans 13:1 (DARBY)
We do well to evaluate our attitude, actions, and reactions to those God has positioned in authority over us so as to allow the blessings to overtake us.