-The LORD speaks to Moses for a sign to negate the complaining spirit of the masses in Israel during this time. Yahweh has His servant gather twelve rods from each tribe of Israel with Aaron’s rod with his name written on it representing the tribe of Levi. These rods were deposited in the tent of meeting by the command of the LORD to see whom God would choose to make spout. His purpose, again, was to “lesson” from upon Himself “the grumblings of the sons of Israel” who were complaining against their leaders, Moses and Aaron (Numbers 17:1-5). So, Moses carried out the command faithfully and deposited the rods before God in the tent of testimony. On the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony and beheld the rod of Aaron’s sprouted, putting forth buds and producing blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds. This was yet another incredible miracles of the LORD! Moses brought out the rods before the people from the presence of the LORD. They saw and took their own rods back. But the LORD told Moses to “Put back the rod of Aaron before the testimony to be kept as a sign against the rebels, that you may put an end to their grumblings against Me, so that they will not die (Numbers 17:6-10).” Moses did exactly as the LORD commanded. The sons of Israel were despondent and cried out, “Behold, we perish, we are dying, we are all dying! Everyone who comes near, who comes near to the tabernacle of the LORD, must die. Are we to perish completely (Numbers 17:11-13)?”
-*Application* The people obviously misjudged the intentions of the LORD in this episode of their journey in the wilderness. When things are difficult in our lives, and when the signs of God are not in our favor, do we give up and pessimistically complain that the LORD is not for us and never will be for us? This is a tragic mistake! God takes us through times of testing and teaching to reveal to us His power, glory, and sustaining love. Can we ever get that??? He is holy and we do fall short of His glory in so many ways when we are lost or carnal (fleshly, saved but not acting like it). God desperately wants to give us His righteous direction, and we should follow it humbly, as we see Moses doing in this passage. God’s sign of the budding, blooming, and fruitful rod was for the purpose of putting an end to the grumbling and rebellion. In the same way, let’s resolve today not to gripe and disobey against what the clear and meaningful directives of Gods are in our lives. Follow His Word and His Spirit. He will not let you down and you will never perish. His will is for you to live and live abundantly (John 10:10).
Verse to Memorize: Numbers 17:10