"The Budding of Aaron's Rod"
BIBLE READING: Numbers 16-17
As a young Bible student in Sunday school, I was always intrigued by the Ark of the Covenant. Sadly, it may have been due to my fascination with Indiana Jones and the film “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. Regardless of why I was intrigued, I never really understood one of the items that were to be placed inside the Ark. You may remember that inside the Ark of the Covenant there was placed the stone tablets that contained the Ten Commandments, a bowl of manna that did not spoil and Aaron’s rod that had budded. I understood the first two, but the later I never really understood. The reading for today contains this event, so I thought it would be wise for us to look and see how this story relates to us today. In Number 16, we have recorded the rebellion of Korah. The rebellion was brought about by the sons of Korah suggesting that Moses and Aaron were attempting to make themselves some self-appointed leaders among the Israelites. In essence, they were really questioning God’s selection of Moses and Aaron as leaders. The end of the story doesn’t bode well for those that were part of this rebellion; God opened the earth and they were swallowed up. In the next chapter, God asks that the chiefs of each tribe bring their staff to the Tent of Meeting. In the morning, they were to collect the staffs from Moses and the staff that would-be flowering would be God’s selection as to who had a right to go into the presence of God on behalf of the people. The next day, it was Aaron’s rod that had not only budded, but brought forth blossoms and ripe almonds. This revealed beyond a shadow of a doubt, which had the right to go before God and serve as the priest before the people. Today, we don’t have such a rebellion, because all Christians have a right to go into the presence of God through prayer and worship. Peter reminds us that as Christians, we are a “royal priesthood” (I Peter 2.5) and Jesus serves as our High Priest who serves as the only mediator between God and man (I Timothy 2.5). He is the only one we should follow as our leader.