As we are enjoying the lovely spring-blooming trees, shrubs, and flowers along the way, on this leg of our trip, we are also reading in the book of Numbers in our Bible reading plan. Today we read the part where Aaron’s rod budded, and it reminded me of how God uses nature to show us Himself.
As we read the story, I was also struck with the similarity of the people in this story to people living today. No wonder, since human nature hasn’t changed! If you are unfamiliar with the narrative, let me say that God didn’t make Aaron’s rod bud and bloom only to impress the Israelites. It was the last in a series of signs given to a group of rebellious people!
The story begins in chapter 16, when Korah, one of the Levite leaders, gathers 250 men and comes to Moses to challenge his authority to govern the people of Israel. Korah says that Moses and Aaron have no right to give them orders: “For all in the congregation are holy, every one of them . . .” Long story short, the ground opened and swallowed up all of the rebels and their households. BUT ON THE NEXT DAY the people just grumbled and complained even more! And only the intervention of Aaron and Moses stopped a plague against the grumblers.
THEN each tribe was told to bring a staff to the tent of meeting with names engraved on them. Moses told the people that the one the Lord chose would bud and bloom. The next day, Aaron’s staff (tribe of Levi) had not only budded and bloomed, but bore ripe almonds! The staff was kept in the holy place as a perpetual warning against spiritual rebellion.
Today nothing has changed; everyone wants to decide for themselves how to live, and to invent their own ideas of morality and even justice, with no regard for God or the truth of His Word. Nothing has changed since Eden, when Satan said to Eve, “Did God really say this? Eat the fruit and you’ll be like God, knowing good and evil.” Jesus came to earth to give his own life to reconcile us to God, and yet multitudes who know this truth and may even have accepted it at one point are now saying, “No, everyone is OK. We don’t need a spiritual authority; we can figure this out for ourselves.” This is not a safe attitude. God is love, but He is also holiness, and eventually He will be the righteous judge of every person. None of us is good enough to stand before Him. But thank God, Jesus is!
The most important thing we can do in life is to know God, the real God, who has revealed Himself to us in the Bible, and who loves us and wants to redeem us from our own foolishness. If you have never committed your life to Christ and accepted His forgiveness for your sin (and we have all sinned), please do it today, and begin to learn to know Him through the Word, and in fellowship with other believers in a good Bible-teaching church. Your spiritual life depends on it!