Numbers 16:44

 

 

The Bible says in Numbers 16:44-50, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,[45] Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a moment. And they fell upon their faces.[46] And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the LORD; the plague is begun.[47] And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people.[48] And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.[49] Now they that died in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, beside them that died about the matter of Korah.[50] And Aaron returned unto Moses unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the plague was stayed.” This time God not only said that He was going to destroy the children of Israel, but He actually started the process with a deadly plague. Moses knew it, and Moses said in verse forty-six, “the plague is begun.” God is holy. God is Judge. God hates sin. That is the message. But thankfully, there is an answer to the sin problem. Moses “made an atonement for the people.” How did Moses make an atonement? It says in verse forty-seven that he “put on incense.” Incense symbolizes prayer. That is all that it takes to win God’s favor: prayer. There is nothing you can do in regards to good deeds to satisfy Him because we are already sinners. God loves to hear form us, especially when we tell Him the truth about our sins. That is why it says in Romans 10:13, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” God is very very merciful. It only takes one sincere prayer to live in heaven forever. The death of Crist on the cross accomplished a lot.

 

It says in verse forty-eight that Moses “stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.” Believers do have a responsibility for other people’s souls because we know the truth. God uses His believers to be witnesses to the truth because of the need of those who are not yet saved. Someone needs to care for their souls. We stand between heaven and hell, and we want to help as many as possible to get into heaven. It takes the gospel of Christ to do that.

 

The Bible says in Numbers 17:1-5, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,[2] Speak unto the children of Israel, and take of every one of them a rod according to the house of their fathers, of all their princes according to the house of their fathers twelve rods: write thou every man's name upon his rod.[3] And thou shalt write Aaron's name upon the rod of Levi: for one rod shall be for the head of the house of their fathers.[4] And thou shalt lay them up in the tabernacle of the congregation before the testimony, where I will meet with you.[5] And it shall come to pass, that the man's rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom: and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, whereby they murmur against you.” There were two purposes to make a rod for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. In verse five God said, “that the man's rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom.” God wanted to make clear whom God had chosen. There is a difference between God’s choice and man’s choice. If you are looking for a pastor of your church, you need to find out God’s choice. Aaron’s rod blossomed and had almonds on it. If you want to see the bearing of fruit for God’s glory, then you better have God’s choice.

 

The second reason that God had each of the twelve tribes make a rod that resulted in only Aaron’s rod budding was so that the children of Israel would see that miracle and accept God’s will and God’s choosing. God changed their hearts. God did what no one else can do: touch the heart. The Lord said at the end of verse five, “I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, whereby they murmur against you.

 

The Bible says in Numbers 17:6-13, “And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, and every one of their princes gave him a rod apiece, for each prince one, according to their fathers' houses, even twelve rods: and the rod of Aaron was among their rods.[7] And Moses laid up the rods before the LORD in the tabernacle of witness.[8] And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.[9] And Moses brought out all the rods from before the LORD unto all the children of Israel: and they looked, and took every man his rod.[10] And the LORD said unto Moses, Bring Aaron's rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not.[11] And Moses did so: as the LORD commanded him, so did he.[12] And the children of Israel spake unto Moses, saying, Behold, we die, we perish, we all perish.[13] Whosoever cometh any thing near unto the tabernacle of the LORD shall die: shall we be consumed with dying?” This was quite a miracle. They took Aaron’s dry stick, and overnight it not only budded, but also grew almonds. Aaron was God’s choice, and the result of Aaron’s work would be that it would bear fruit. Those who wanted to be a part of Aaron’s work and ministry needed to support and help Aaron with their attitude, their prayers, and their offerings. God wanted to make sure that the children of Israel did not forget this lesson and so God told them to keep Aaron’s rod in the tabernacle.

 

It was a harsh time to live under the law. In verse ten God said, “take away their murmurings from me, that they die not.” If you complained, you died. That is a good rule to have for yourself (not the death part), but the complaining part. No complaining allowed. There is a good side to everything. If you complain, you are looking at the wrong side. Pray, and then except God’s will. Complaining can only come from a doubting heart.      

 

The Bible says in Numbers 18:1-7, “And the LORD said unto Aaron, Thou and thy sons and thy father's house with thee shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary: and thou and thy sons with thee shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood.[2] And thy brethren also of the tribe of Levi, the tribe of thy father, bring thou with thee, that they may be joined unto thee, and minister unto thee: but thou and thy sons with thee shall minister before the tabernacle of witness.[3] And they shall keep thy charge, and the charge of all the tabernacle: only they shall not come nigh the vessels of the sanctuary and the altar, that neither they, nor ye also, die.[4] And they shall be joined unto thee, and keep the charge of the tabernacle of the congregation, for all the service of the tabernacle: and a stranger shall not come nigh unto you.[5] And ye shall keep the charge of the sanctuary, and the charge of the altar: that there be no wrath any more upon the children of Israel.[6] And I, behold, I have taken your brethren the Levites from among the children of Israel: to you they are given as a gift for the LORD, to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.[7] Therefore thou and thy sons with thee shall keep your priest's office for every thing of the altar, and within the vail; and ye shall serve: I have given your priest's office unto you as a service of gift: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.” Notice the restrictions put on the Levites even though they served in the temple: “only they shall not come nigh the vessels of the sanctuary and the altar, that neither they, nor ye also, die.” If they got to close to the altar or other objects in the temple, they would die. That is because the temple symbolized the presence of God and God is holy. Nothing unholy can come near to God. Man is unholy. Man is sinful. Man is full of sin compared to God. That is a big problem. Thankfully God solved that problem by sending Jesus to die on the cross. After we read these verses about the restrictions placed upon those under the law, notice was is said in the New Testament about those who have faith in Christ. It says in Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

 

The Bible says in Numbers 18:8-14, “And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Behold, I also have given thee the charge of mine heave offerings of all the hallowed things of the children of Israel; unto thee have I given them by reason of the anointing, and to thy sons, by an ordinance for ever.[9] This shall be thine of the most holy things, reserved from the fire: every oblation of theirs, every meat offering of theirs, and every sin offering of theirs, and every trespass offering of theirs, which they shall render unto me, shall be most holy for thee and for thy sons.[10] In the most holy place shalt thou eat it; every male shall eat it: it shall be holy unto thee.[11] And this is thine; the heave offering of their gift, with all the wave offerings of the children of Israel: I have given them unto thee, and to thy sons and to thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever: every one that is clean in thy house shall eat of it.[12] All the best of the oil, and all the best of the wine, and of the wheat, the firstfruits of them which they shall offer unto the LORD, them have I given thee.[13] And whatsoever is first ripe in the land, which they shall bring unto the LORD, shall be thine; every one that is clean in thine house shall eat of it.[14] Every thing devoted in Israel shall be thine.” In verse eight God tells Aaron, “I also have given thee the charge of mine heave offerings of all the hallowed things of the children of Israel…” Notice the word “charge.” That refers to the work and the responsibility that God had given to Aaron. God called Him, and so God also made it clear in the rest of these verses that God would take care of Aaron and his family. Many of the offerings were used by Aaron to supply his own material needs. God knows that we have material needs in this life and God promises to supply those needs. Jesus said in Matthew 6:33,Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”

 

In today’s world it is important to notice verse eight where it says, “I have given them unto thee, and to thy sons and to thy daughters with thee.” The daughters are given an equal status to the sons. There are many places in the Bible where this is so. In the New Testament it says about believers in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Another good example where this equality is seen is found in Acts 2:17-18, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God,I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:[18] And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:” The equality of men and women is given in both verse seventeen and verse eighteen in regards to the filling of the Spirit and the preaching of the Word of God. To prophesy means to speak forth the message that God has given to you. A woman can speak forth the Word of God as well as a man, if she is gifted and called to do so.

 

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Copyright; 2019 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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