36 The Lord said to Moses, 37 ‘Tell Eleazar son of Aaron, the priest, to remove the censers from the charred remains and scatter the coals some distance away, for the censers are holy – 38 the censers of the men who sinned at the cost of their lives. Hammer the censers into sheets to overlay the altar, for they were presented before the Lord and have become holy. Let them be a sign to the Israelites.’
39 So Eleazar the priest collected the bronze censers brought by those who had been burned to death, and he had them hammered out to overlay the altar, 40 as the Lord directed him through Moses. This was to remind the Israelites that no one except a descendant of Aaron should come to burn incense before the Lord, or he would become like Korah and his followers.
This is the end of a solemn story where Korah and his companions sin, an act that costs their lives. Reading it, I am so grateful of the reach of Jesus’ sacrifice that means God forgives my sins. I do find it fascinating that God gives instructions for their censers to be flattened like this and become a reminder of what has happened, a warning for the Israelites of the consequences of their actions. Like Korah, we will sin from time to time, and when we do, it is important to seek forgiveness (which will be granted) and learn from what we’ve done, just as the Israelites would have done from this memorial, so that our forgiveness through Christ is not in vain, but our lives are more aligned with his.
Father, thank you for your forgiveness through Christ. Help us not to take it for granted, but use it to spur us on in the strength of the Spirit, to live lives that reflect his, to your glory.