June 11, 2010

Examining The Scripture XXIV: Sign, Sign, Everywhere A Sign

The challenge to Aaron’s choice as high priest took place in Numbers 17 in what appears to be an ongoing wave of rebellion against Moses and Aaron (by proxy, God). We have another dissension when it comes to God’s choice of Aaron as the High Priest. In verse 6-7 we get the distinct impression there are still challenges to authority because Moses does what he was commanded and uses Aaron’s rod in a miraculous act of resurrection to prove the divine choice of Aaron in verse 8 (McGee 497).

"Moses therefore spoke to the sons of Israel, and all their leaders gave him a rod apiece, for each leader according to their fathers' households, twelve rods, with the rod of Aaron among their rods. So Moses deposited the rods before the LORD in the tent of the testimony. Now on the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony; and behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds." Numbers 17:6-8

Aaron’s staff budded, bloomed blossoms and yielded almonds. The fact that they question Moses authority in this chapter and do not take him at his word being the mediator of God is basically direct disobedience of God. They needed a sign as proof, this is a lack of faith and a lack of faith is unbelief. This is a revisited theme in the Bible over and over and over ad nauseum:

"Jesus said, "This is a wicked generation. It asks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah." Luke 11:29

They basically had a bad heart attitude about worshiping God and subsequently chose to not even go near the tabernacle in fear of being killed for even approaching the tent. Even though after the incident with Aaron’s staff budding and blooming they acknowledge God’s choice in picking Aaron, they were still recalcitrant internally. This is similar to the downcast or fallen countenance of Cain in Genesis. They acknowledged the choice of Aaron, they just didn’t like it.

How often do we do this in our ministries? We see someone putting forth the Word of God better than we could. They captivate the crowd of people. They have people eating out of their hands waiting with baited-breath for the next tidbit or morsel of spiritual nourishment. Woe to you who dwell in selfish pride that do things out of vain conceit and arrogance. Yes, you! If this is how you feel when the Word is effectively reaching others that desperately need it and all you can think about is how you are not getting the attention for the planting of those seeds, well, shame on you. You should be rejoicing that people are being saved, they are learning, they are growing. Besides, if someone is evangelizing or preaching better that you through Christ perhaps that isn't what you should be doing or it isn't your gift anyway? Perhaps you should be looking elsewhere?

"What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification." 1 Corinthians 14:26

"So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another." Romans 14:19

McGee, J. Vernon. "Numbers." Thru the Bible, Vol. 1: Genesis-Deuteronomy. Waco, TX: Thomas Nelson, 1983. 497. Print.

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