Do not ‘COMPLAIN’ against God’s ordained LEADERS: On the next day all the congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, saying, “You have killed the people of the Lord.” Now it happened, when the congregation had gathered against Moses and Aaron that they turned toward the tabernacle of meeting; and suddenly the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord appeared. Then Moses and Aaron came before the tabernacle of meeting. And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Get away from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.” (Numbers 16:41-45)
In the above passage we read that the Israelites accused Moses and Aaron of killing God’s people. God in His anger threatened to destroy all of them with one stroke, but Moses and Aaron went before the tabernacle of meeting to intercede for the people. However, God struck the people with a dreadful plague that killed 14,700 people that day. Only when Aaron rushed into the midst of the congregation with incense and made atonement for the people was the plague stopped. It was the priestly intercession of Aaron which stopped the plague and saved the people who complained against him and Moses!
We should note that the cloud signified the presence of the Lord not only for guidance, but also for judgment (Num. 12:5, 10; 14:10; 16:19). The plague was a punishment from Yahweh against His people who were slow to learn some vital lessons. God was prepared to destroy the nation of Israel but Moses and Aaron acted as intercessors for the sinful people. In fact, Aaron stood “between the living and the dead” to stop the plague—as a shadow of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who took a similar stand in the gap between life and death for all of us!
The important lesson to be learned here is that we should not complain against God’s leaders no matter what happens. If God has placed them in a leadership position, God will take them out of that position if they fail to live up to God’s standards (Psalms 75:6-7). Who are the people who complain? Jude gives us an accurate description with these words: "Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries." (Jude 1:8)
So, what should we do instead of complaining? Lam 3:39-40 gives us the answer: "Why should a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins? Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the Lord." Let this incident be a life lesson for us to remember always!