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The Sinkhole
Photo: Torian Dixon
On May 8, 1981, Mae Rose Owens began to notice the ground eroding around her three bedroom house in Winter Park, Florida. Within days, the earth had swallowed her home, the surrounding trees, half an Olympic size community pool, a section of road and five Porsches parked at a German auto store nearby.

$4 million in damage was the price tag attached to this 350 foot wide sinkhole that measured 100-150 feet deep. Lower groundwater levels during a drought period were said to be the cause of the disaster.

Today, Lake Rose (named after the lady who lost her home), resembles a small fishing pond set in the middle of this city east of Orlando.

Ironically, the Old Testament book of Numbers (Ch. 16) relates the story of a dramatic and chilling sinkhole set in motion by the God of heaven.

During the time of the Israelite’s desert wanderings prior to their entering the land of Canaan, Moses was their God appointed ruler and his brother Aaron, high priest. By this time, several insurrections against God’s ordained leadership had already taken place. Numbers 16, recounts the narrative of how Korah, Dathan, Abiram, On and 250 other leaders sought to overthrow the authority of Moses and Aaron, and grab the priesthood for themselves.

End to Contempt

God put a stop to their contempt and rebellion by opening the ground beneath the major instigators. According to Number 16:31-33, “…the ground under them split apart and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them with their households and all Korah’s men and all their possessions. They went down alive into the grave, with everything they owned; the earth closed over them, and they perished and were gone from the community. (Fire subsequently came out from God to consume the 250 other leaders).

This sobering episode begs for reflection: What was the root of this evil insurrection? These men were credible leaders of rank and reputation but they were not priests. Resentment and discontent began to fester. At the heart of their displeasure was this--they wanted more! Not content with the honor and responsibilities God had already bestowed upon them, they also wanted the priesthood.

Do you ever find yourself wanting more--more money, a bigger home, a newer vehicle, the latest technology? Although blessed with a spouse, do you find your eyes and heart wandering after one that might be better? Are you discontent with your station in life? Do you desire greater power, prestige, or position--on your job, in your church, or community?

Contentment is the key to happiness. If we focus on what we don’t have, we will continually be yearning and grabbing for more. If, on the other hand, we cultivate an attitude of gratitude, being truly thankful for the many blessings God has already given us, our hearts will be filled and our strivings after more will be quieted.

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By Kathy Lewis. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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