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Month: October 2016

Aaron’s Rod Blossoms

Aaron’s Rod Blossoms

“And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:  “Speak to the children of Israel, and get from them a rod from each father’s house, all their leaders according to their fathers’ houses—twelve rods. Write each man’s name on his rod.    And you shall write Aaron’s name on the rod of Levi.   For there shall be one rod for the head of each father’s house.    Then you shall place them in the tabernacle of meeting before the Testimony, where I meet with you.     And it shall be that the rod of the man whom I choose will blossom;  thus I will rid Myself of the complaints of the children of Israel, which they make against you.”   (Numbers 17: 1-5 NKJV)

After Korah and his followers had complained about Moses and Aaron, God chose a miracle to prove once again that He was their LORD;  and that it would be GOD … and only  GOD  that would decide who would be His priests!   You would think that after God had made the earth to open up and swallow these men, their families and all their belongings, that the complaining would stop!  Even after that, the 250 complaining men who were offering the incense without authority were consumed by the fire sent by the LORD!    That still wasn’t enough, and 14,700  more complainers were to die with a plague!  Yes, I think God was going to do something to stop the complaining and convince them once and for all with a sign they couldn’t forget !!

So Moses took all the rods from the twelve tribes and put them before the Ark of the Covenant. I picture the rods to be like the one Moses used and all the shepherds used.  We read in Psalm 23, “His rod and His staff, they comfort me”. These were not made from a live tree, but were of dead wood.  Only God could make a dead piece of wood blossom!  And Moses had placed them there before the Ark, which was the place where God dwelled among them!

“Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses went into the tabernacle of witness, and behold, the rod of Aaron, of the house of Levi, had sprouted and put forth buds, had produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds.”  (Number 17:8)

moses-gave-aaron-staff

Not only did the rod have blossoms on it….it also had buds and ripe almonds!  It was in all the stages that an almond branch would ever have on it!  Our God truly is a magnificent God and wants to be sure we know and honor All that He is!!

One of my favorite things about the Tabernacle is the Ark of the Covenant and all it stands for!  After each of the other tribes had gotten their rods and could plainly see nothing had changed on their rods; God instructed Moses to put Aaron’s rod in the Ark!  It was to be kept as a reminder to the children of Israel that God had chosen Aaron to be His Priest!

arkBesides the tablets with the Ten Commandments that they had broken and the bowl of mania that they had complained about; the Ark now contained the miracle of a dead piece of wood with Aaron’s name on it, with buds, blossoms, and almonds because they had rebelled.  When the Priest would cover the Ark with the blood of sacrifice, it covered these reminders of Israel’s sin!  God would “see” the blood  “covering” their sin, and atonement was made!

The precious blood of Jesus covers our sin and God sees that atonement has been made!  Praise the name of Jesus!

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Learning Lessons the Hard Way!

Learning Lessons the Hard Way!

Sometimes it’s really hard to learn a lesson!  After all they had witnessed of God’s power against the Egyptians; and all they had just witnessed of God’s wrath with the spies that had lied about the Promised Land…some of the Israelites were still not happy with Moses and Aaron!

The ring leader this time was even a cousin of Moses!  Korah  and Moses were descendants of Kobath, a son of Levi.   Moses’ father was Amram, son of Kohath  (Numbers 26:58,59) and Korah’s father was Izhar, son of Kohath (Numbers 16:1).  Now, the family of Kohath (or the Kohathites) had the most desired duty of the Levites!  In Numbers 4:15 – 20, they were given the duty of carrying the “most holy things” of the Tabernacle.  Yet, Korah was not content with his job and led some men against Moses and Aaron accusing them of taking pride in their leadership of the people.

We know Moses didn’t ask for this position!  He and Aaron were appointed by God!  So, these men were really questioning the LORD!  Moses was angry and probably crushed with the accusation!  After all, it had not been an easy task and actually very demanding and demeaning!  “I have not taken one donkey from them, nor have I hurt one of them!” (Numbers 16:15b)

Again we see Moses standing between an angry God and His people!  Instead of God “consuming” all of the assembly  (Numbers 16:22),  just Korah and the men that had followed him (and their families) were swallowed up when God opened up the earth!  It was evident that Moses had not hurt these men, but it was from God!  And He wasn’t finished punishing the rebellious!

“And a fire came out from the LORD and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering incense!” (Numbers 16:35)  God gave exact instructions for offering incense by Aaron and his family; but these men thought they could do it their way!

Thank God, we have been saved by grace through the shed blood of Jesus on the cross!  I am forgiven of doing things my way!  But I also know that doing things my way and not giving any thought to what God has said carries a consequence that I may not like!  I pray I have learned enough lessons that I will always be conscious of God at the center of my thoughts and actions!  I am blessed and thankful for all He has forgiven!  How about you?  Have we learned enough lessons that we think about what we say or do and if it will please God?

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God ‘s Ongoing Grace

God ‘s Ongoing Grace

The Israelites had failed in their test of faith and believed ten of the twelve spies who had given exaggerated and distorted reports, instead of believing God. This was getting to be a pattern for these people.  They were descendants of Abraham,  it’s true; but they had lived their entire life in Egypt.  Their sin nature appeared to be stronger than their faith in Yahweh!

So, when God had given His sentence of death for that generation before they entered the Promised Land; the people mourned and decided on their own to take the land!  “But they presumed to go up the mountaintop.  Nevertheless, neither the ark of the covenant of the Lord nor Moses departed from the camp.  Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who dwelt in that mountain came down and attacked them and drove them back as far as Hormah.” Numbers 14:44-45

The next chapter of Numbers  sounds like God had changed His mind and was going to let them go into the Promised land after all.  Listen: “And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them:   ‘When you have come into the land you are to inhabit, which I am giving to you….'”  (Numbers 15: 1,2)

But, “For the LORD to say this, (just) demonstrates His ongoing grace to His erring people.   Israel’s future was there.  And even though the adult generation had been sentenced to die before reaching the Promised Land (Hebrews 3:17,18), the next generation would need to understand the covenant ‘ s requirements, including the system of offerings ” David Jeremiah page 195 Jeremiah Study Bible

One of my favorite parts of Numbers is also found in Numbers chapter 15 “The Lord said to Moses,  “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel.  You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by chasing after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes. Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God.   I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the Lord your God.”  Numbers 15:37-44 NIV

This is the basis for the prayer shawl worn by Jewish men yet today.  Our Bible Study Ladies had a study with Beth Moore where we wore blue bracelets with tassels on!   God knows our hearts and how much we need to be constantly reminded in order to keep Him central in our life!  Thank you, Father.  We know You are always there!!

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