Breaking the Chain: The Sons of Korah

Some people feel as if they are “doomed to failure” due to a sin their parents committed, or because of something unsavory in their family background. The story of the sons of Korah reminds us that we are not consigned to failure because of our family heritage.

If you study the Psalms, you will come across the inscription: “A Psalm of the sons of Korah.” These men were of the Priestly tribe, the Levites, and the Lord used them to write twelve Psalms (42-49, 84-85, 87-88). One might expect such from men with a privileged Levitical background, but there was a dark cloud in their history. Their forefather, Korah, led a rebellion against Moses’ authority (Numbers 16 tells the story) and Korah himself died when the Lord opened the earth and it swallowed up all the rebels. But Numbers 26:10-11 tells us that Korah’s children were spared.

Not only were the sons of Korah spared their forefather’s fate, but they actually went on to serve the Lord as Levites. I Chronicles 9:19 says “Shallum the son of Kore, the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah, and his relatives of his father’s house, the Korahites, were over the work of the service, keepers of the thresholds of the tent; and their fathers had been over the camp of the Lord, keepers of the entrance.”

This actually sheds some light on one of the most beloved passages in the Psalms, Psalm 84:10, “For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.” The authors of this Psalm knew very well of what they wrote: they were “keepers of the thresholds of the tent … keepers of the entrance”!

And Psalm 84 was not their only contribution to the Psalter. The sons of Korah wrote a dozen of them! These unlikely authors give us an important spiritual lesson: just because their father died in rebellion against God did not mean that God held it against THEM.

God says in Ezekiel 18 that He didn’t want His people using the old proverb, “The fathers eat the sour grapes, but the children’s teeth are set on edge.” No, God will not punish the children for the father’s iniquity. If you or someone you know have been chained to the burden that God will not bless you because of some fault in your parents, let the story of the sons of Korah be an encouragement. By God’s grace the sons of Korah broke the chains of their father’s iniquity and served the Lord in a great way — and by that same grace, you can too!

About Shawn Thomas

My blog,, provides brief devotions from own personal daily Bible reading, as well as some of my sermons, book reviews, and family life experiences.
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2 Responses to Breaking the Chain: The Sons of Korah

  1. Jackie Givens says:

    Another good word Mr. Shawn. I always thought of this verse cuz that was Don’s job at NLBC and did it so faithfully. Now we have a new mission.

    • Shawn Thomas says:

      Thank you Mrs. Jackie. I love the light that the background of the sons of Korah sheds on that verse. And how neat that that was Don’s job — I’m not surprised! Prayed for y’all this morning.

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