I don't know about you, but I often wondered about some of the beautiful Psalms that were written by the "sons of Korah" and I wondered if this was the same Korah who rebelled against Moses. In the Bible story in the book of Numbers, it clearly says that Korah was swallowed up by the earth. It sounds like maybe there was a giant earthquake with a crack so wide that it opened up and swallowed them.
My dilemna was not that Korah was destroyed. When I read the passage where it talks about this, I assumed that Korah's family was there with him as were Dathan and Abiram's families. This would leave no surviving relatives. However, when I began researching this I realized that it doesn't say Korah's family chose to rebel with him. See selected verses below from Numbers chapter 16..
Korah son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and certain Reubenites - Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth - became insolent and rose up against Moses. With them were 250 Israelite men, well-known community leaders who had been appointed members of the council.
Moses said to Korah, "You and all your followers are to appear before the LORD tomorrow..." He warned the assembly, "Move back from the tents of these wicked men! Do not touch anything belonging to them, or you will be swept away because of all their sins." So they moved away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. Dathan and Abiram had come out and were standing with their wives, children and little ones at the entrances to their tents... And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them, with their households and all Korah's men and all their possessions.
So, this made me think about several things. Number 1 - No wonder some of the Psalms that were written by the "sons of Korah" were written with such lamenting and recalling of history. They never forgot their past, but they did not let their father's past define them. One part of the family became temple gatekeepers (1 Chronicles 9:19), and another became the singers and musicians in the temple choir (1 Chronicles 6:31-37).
Some of my favorite Psalms were written by the descendants of Korah. Check out Psams 42 through 49. Psalm 46 is one of those. It portrays some of the worst calamities imaginable that can come upon the earth - were they remembering the possible earthquake that swallowed up Korah? But then they come back with strong assurance that we can trust our immovable Rock and Refuge, the God of Israel.
And secondly, I can't help but think how brave Korah's wife and children were to take a stand against Korah's rebellion. It saved their lives, but what a price they paid! They lost the head of their household. The very mention of his name probably brought embarrassment and shame to them.
The descendants of Korah are an example to me. I don't want to let happenings of the past define who I am according to who God declares me to be. And I want to be strong enough to stand up for what is right no matter how hard it is.