After Korach, Datan, and Aviram challenge Moshe and Aaron on their authority, Moshe is unsuccessful in his attempt to discuss their grievances with him (16:12). G-d then instructs Moshe to advise the congregation to withdraw from the rebels (16:24). The elders of Israel follow Moshe as he walks to Datan and Aviram and urges everyone to distance themselves from the dissenters. If Moshe’s directive from G-d is to caution the people against the rebels, why does Torah tell us that Moshe walked to Datan and Aviram?
Oznaim LaTorah suggests that despite the disrespect Datan and Aviram showed Moshe by not honoring his request for a conversation, Moshe still led the elders toward the rebels with the hope of a peaceful resolution. Although it did not culminate in a peaceful resolution, the intent was nevertheless noble and exemplary. From time to time, we may find ourselves or others spiraling toward an adverse outcome; all it can take to get us back on track is someone with good intentions walking toward us.