God told Moses "Tomorrow turn and move into the wilderness through the Way of the Red Sea." (Numbers 14:25) While in this wilderness between Paran 2 and Kadesh, the Israelites made the following mistakes:
Mistake #1 Inner Circle RebellionKorah together with Dathan, Abiram and On took 250 men who were leaders of the Israelites and went to Moses and accused him and Aaron of taking taking too much responsibilities for themselves.
They told Moses that all the Israelites were holy and God was among them and asked them "Why do you exalt yourselves above them?" (Numbers 16:3)
When Moses heard this question, he fell on his face and told Korah and his companions, "Tomorrow God will show you who is His and who is holy and He will cause that person to come near him." (Numbers 16:4)
He told Korah and his colleagues to take censers and put incense and fire in them before God the next morning and let the Lord chose the one who is holy. (Numbers 16:7)
Moses also asked Korah and his company, "You sons of Levi, is it a small thing that God has separated you from the other Israelites so that you can do he work of His tabernacle and stand before them to serve them and that He has brought you near to him? Are you seeking the priesthood also? Therefore know that you and your company are gathered against the Lord." (Numbers 16:8-11)
Lesson #1 Opposition from Unexpected SourcesKorah and some of his companions were levites who had also been given special responsibilities by God for Moses said to them, "You sons of Levi, is it a small thing that God has separated you from the other Israelites so that you can do he work of His tabernacle and stand before them to serve them and that He has brought you near to him? Are you seeking the priesthood also?" (Numbers 16:8-11)
These people were supposed to be working together with Moses and lead the Israelites from the Wilderness to their Promised Land.
They had also witnessed all the other problems that the general Israelites had given Moses. They were therefore the last people you would have expected to attack Moses.
However they did get 250 men of renown who were leaders of the Israelites to gather against Moses.
Therefore if you are doing what God has called you to do, understand that opposition can come from any quarter including people who have also serving the same God.
To deal with this type of opposition, accept that it happens and expect God to help you the way He helped Moses.
Lesson #2 Let God Fight for YouKorah and his companions accused Moses of taking on too many responsibilities for himself. However, God is the One Who had given Moses those responsibilities and so Moses let God fight for him for he told them "Tomorrow God will show you who is His and who is holy and He will cause that person to come near him." (Numbers 16:4)
God fought for Moses and Aaron because Korah, Dathan, Abiram were swallowed by the ground together with their families (Numbers 16:31-33) while A fire came from God and consumed the 250 leaders who were offering incense to God. (Numbers 16:35)
God also went an extra mile for He told Moses, "I will rid Myself of the complaints that the Israelites make against you." (Numbers 17:5) He got rid of these complaints by telling Moses to 12 rods from each house of Israel and write the name of the leader on each rod. Aaron's name was to be on the rod from the house of Levi. These rods were to be placed in the Tabernacle of meeting before the Testimony where He met Moses and the rod of the man that He chose would blossom.
The next day, Moses removed the rods and found that Aaron's rod had sprouted, produced buds, produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds. (Numbers 17:8)
Moses brought out all the rods to the Israelites and they looked and saw what God had done.
Therefore if people question you about something that God Himself has called you to do, emulate Moses and let God fight for you.
Lesson #3 Respect Spiritual HierarchyWhen Moses sent for Dathan and Abiram, they refused to come. (Numbers 16:12) They then spoke badly and asked, "Is it a small thing that you have brought us from a land flowing with milk and honey (rhetorically referring to Egypt) to kill us in the wilderness?"
They continued and said, "You have also not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey (referring to their Promised Land) ." (Numbers 16:13-14)
As a result of speaking so disrespectfully to Moses, Moses spoke to God and told him "Do not respect their offering." (Numbers 16:15)
Therefore respect persons in spiritual authority because they can ask God for things that will affect you positively or negatively.
We can see in the case of Dathan and Abiram, they were affected negatively by Moses' prayer because of their words and actions.
We can also see that the general Israelite population were affected positively by Moses' prayer the same day because when God appeared he wanted to destroy all of them at once for he told Moses and Aaron, "Separate yourselves from this congregation so that I can destroy them." (Numbers 16:21)
However Moses and Aaron interceded for the people by praying, "O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one person sin and You become angry with all the Israelites?" (Numbers 16:22)
The Lord heard their prayer and told Moses, "Tell the Israelites to get away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram" (Numbers 16:22-23) and He only destroyed them instead of destroying all the Israelites.
Mistake #2 Outer Circle RebellionThe next day after God had killed Korah, Dathan and Abiram because of rebelling against Moses, the other Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron by saying, "You have killed the people of the Lord" (Numbers 16:41)
Lesson #4 Opposition from All SidesThese people were not Levites like Korah and and by rebelling against Moses, we see that opposition can come from the inner circle, people who you thought you could trust and the outer circle, people you never really trusted.
The lesson is to accept that when you are doing the work that God has called you to do, problems can come from any and all sides and they can come in rapid succession because one day Moses was being attacked by his inner circle and the next day by his outer circle.
To deal with such a situation it is best to stay in close communication with God so that even if everyone abandons you, you can still carry on.
Lesson #5 God is WatchingGod is also called Jehovah Roi which means The God Who Sees and He could see that Moses was having a rough week because When the congregation gathered against Moses and Aaron ... suddenly the cloud covered it and the glory of God appeared (Numbers 16:42) and He told Moses to get away from the Israelites so that He could destroy them.
However, Moses and Aaron fell on their faces and Moses instructed Aaron on how to make atonement for the Israelites because he sensed that Wrath had gone out from God.
Aaraon obeyed Moses and stopped the plague by standing between the dead and the living even thought 14,700 people had died (Numbers 16:48-49) because of rebelling against Moses and Aaron.
This also brings us to the other point of respecting spiritual heirachy because Moses knew that wrath had gone out from God to destroy the people and he also knew how to stop it.
Click here for the Exodus Bible Study which shows you all the things that kept the Israelites wandering in the wilderness for 40 years (14,600 days) instead of taking 11 days to move from Egypt to their Promised Land.