In the children’s book series How to Train Your Dragon, the protagonist Hiccup has a cousin named Snotlout who’s as mean as they get. Snotlout is determined to inherit the tribal chieftaincy in Hiccup’s place, and embarks on a number of schemes to sabotage his cousin. But Hiccup consistently chooses to reach out to Snotlout. Even after Snotlout’s father rejects him for his wickedness, Hiccup doesn’t give up on him. Eventually, Hiccup’s faith is rewarded as Snotlout shows the colors of a true friend.
Snotlout reminds me of Korah (Numbers 16:1). Although God had given the Levites special access to perform various roles within the sanctuary, Korah wasn’t satisfied. He envied the leadership status granted to Moses and Aaron. In time, he managed to incite several other tribal elders to rebel against them (Numbers 16:2).
God judged this rebellion with a spectacular show of force, wiping out fallen leaders and followers alike. But “the sons of Korah did not die” (Numbers 26:11). Although Korah instigated the uprising, his family wasn’t destroyed.
Fast forward a bit and Korah’s name pops up again. His descendants were still stirring up the people. Only this time, they were doing it in a good way—seeking God’s glory and none for themselves. Humility and contentment replaced arrogance and envy. In a song, they declared, “A single day in [God’s] courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked” (Psalm 84:10).
God saw past an ancestor’s pride and preserved generations of worshipers. No matter your past or that of relatives who have come before, He can redeem and restore those who have fallen.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Mark 6:1-13
In 1 Timothy 1:15, note how Paul—one of the greatest leaders in the early church—described himself.
How has God revealed His redeeming ways to you? What does it take to receive the restoration and redemption He offers to even the worst of sinners?