It’s hard not to join your family. Especially when 250 others are joining your brothers (Num 16). And it’s challenging especially in a culture where brothers play such a dominant role in the family system. But Nemuel’s brothers were protesting against God’s anointed–Moses. And instead of joining with his brothers in their gripes, complaints and protests, he said no. He opposed his brothers. There were 250 leaders that joined his brothers, but Nemuel didn’t.
Without a doubt I’m sure it sacrificed his relationship with them. But in the end, their rebellion cost them their lives and the lives of the 250 men who joined them.
Levi had a son named Kohath and the Kohathites had the most sacred role of all of the Israelites. That is that they were to be the ones who transported and cared for the most holy things of the temple when they were on the road.
Now Kohath had a son and his name was Korah. Korah recruited the brothers Dathan and Abiram to join him (as well as On son of Peleth) in rebelling against Moses. They were able to gather together 250 prominent Israelite men to join them.
“They came together against Moses and Aaron and told them, “You have gone too far! Everyone in the entire community is holy, and the LORD is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the LORD’s assembly?” (Num 16:3).
“Moses was a very humble man, more so than any man on the face of the earth” (Num 12:3).
As you probably know the story didn’t end well for the rebellious. They all perished at the hand of God’s judgment.
Nemuel said no and he did something courageous. He stayed strong in righteousness even when family and “prominent leaders” went another direction.
For some reason when I think of this I think of the background believers in other countries who stand firm following Jesus even when their brothers and their leaders go a different way. If that is you, be encouraged by Nemuel.
This can happen actually anywhere in the world. There are many occasions when a people, even God’s people, decide to go down questionable paths. And typically this comes with considerable pressure from family and even from leaders. It’s oftentimes tempting as there tends to be a little bit of truth with their argument as well as a hiddenness of pride and self-righteousness.
But we must stay the course that we believe is of God. To serve him faithfully even when those closest to us go a different direction. So next time we’re face with that choice, let’s remember and be encouraged that…
Nemuel said no.
And because of it he was saved.