After twenty years of separation, Jacob attempted to reconcile with his brother, Esau, whom Jacob had tricked into giving up his birth right.
“And what if God, desiring to display His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience objects of wrath ready for destruction. And what if He did this to make known the riches of His glory on objects of mercy, that he prepared beforehand for glory–on us, the ones He also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?” (Romans 9:22-24, HCSB).
These verses do not mean that God desires to show His wrath on those who deserve it. Rather, they mean that God desires to show His mercy by saving those who deserve His wrath. And, God can best show His love by having mercy on those who deserve His wrath.
Numbers 16 is the record of yet another rebellion by the Israelites against Moses’ leadership and God’s authority.
This rebellion seemed to be a power struggle that was a more egregious challenge to God’s authority than any of the previous rebellions. This rebellion was led by certain Levites who had some of the most important duties related to the upkeep of the Tabernacle.