Headlines ripped straight from the pages of the Bible

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 9, 2013

I had to read it again. Did a man really fall to his death when a sinkhole opened up under his bed? What is unfathomable to me was Jeff Bush’s reality when the 37-year-old of Seffner, Fla., died on the last day of February after the earth beneath him collapsed. Awakened by his cries for help, his brother Jeremy raced to the scene, jumped in, but was unable to locate Jeff. It sounds like a National Enquirer headline, the plot of a science fiction movie or even a story from the Old Testament.
Yep. Right there in the Bible, in the middle of Moses’ trials with the people he led out of slavery in Egypt, is the account of the earth opening up to consume Korah. And this is where I’ll close the story of Jeff Bush, a man dearly loved by his family and friends. A man who, according to the home’s owner Leland Wicker would, “give you the shirt off of his back… he’d do anything for you… he’d say, ‘Is there anything I can do for you? Can I help you do anything?’ He was just a fabulous guy.” It wasn’t Bush’s life, but rather his death that caused me to spend the past few days flipping through the Old Testament in search the story of Korah. I found it in Numbers 16.
Korah, an Israelite leader discontent in his role of assisting in the service of the tabernacle, rallied a group of men to challenge Moses. Their desire for more power ended the next day with their destruction. Korah, joined by Dathan, Abiram and their families, were swept away when the earth split apart and swallowed them. Fire then consumed the 250 men who were allies of Korah.
One simple line in Numbers 26:11 is significant to the continuation of the story, “The line of Korah, however, did not die out.” So what did they do? What comes next for the family of Korah? Did they learn from his life, or did they repeat his mistake?
The answer lies in I Chronicles 9:19. They “were responsible for guarding the thresholds of the Tent just as their fathers had been responsible for guarding the entrance to the dwelling of the Lord.” But this isn’t even the end of their story. A visit to the book of Psalms reveals the hearts of these servants of God. Among others, Korah’s descendants are credited with writing Psalm 84. Verse 10 seems to summarize their view of their ministry, “Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.”
The evidence of Korah’s effect on their lives is also seen in Psalm 46, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way…”
I need to read that again.
Ronny may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.