Numbers 17 – The Magic Stick?


1Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2″Speak to the sons of Israel, and get from them a rod for each father’s household: twelve rods, from all their leaders according to their fathers’ households. You shall write each name on his rod, 3and write Aaron’s name on the rod of Levi; for there is one rod for the head of each of their fathers’ households. 4You shall then deposit them in the tent of meeting in front of the testimony, where I meet with you. 5It will come about that the rod of the man whom I choose will sprout. Thus I will lessen from upon Myself the grumblings of the sons of Israel, who are grumbling against you.” 6Moses 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. 7So Moses deposited the rods before the Lord in the tent of the testimony.

8Now 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. 9Moses then brought out all the rods from the presence of the Lord to all the sons of Israel; and they looked, and each man took his rod. 10But the Lord said to Moses, “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.” 11Thus Moses did; just as the Lord had commanded him, so he did.

12Then the sons of Israel spoke to Moses, saying, “Behold, we perish, we are dying, we are all dying! 13Everyone who comes near, who comes near to the tabernacle of the Lord, must die. Are we to perish completely?”

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The rod was like a stick and these twelve men carved their names on them, out of the twelve one of them sprouted. The one that sprouted was Aaron’s rod and he became the priest. Would you call the transformation of a dried stick into a fruit tree, magical? No, the rod that sprouted was not a product of magic, but from God. God worked this miracle to prove to the children of Israel that they had been wrong in questioning whom the priesthood rightfully belonged to. God mercifully gave Israel another evidence of his will, to correct their judgment. The miracle was sufficient to silence the complaints of the Israelites. After they realized what they had done, they were terrified and said “Behold, we perish, we are dying, we are all dying!” God asked Moses to place the rod in front of the alter so that it served as a reminder that they were wrong in murmuring and questioning God’s authority.

How many times has God given us a second chance? If you haven’t noticed, every morning is an opportunity to serve Him, love Him, give yourself to Him, reconcile with Him, reconcile with your brother, love those around you, enjoy nature, be kind, serve others, and the list goes on my friends! My point is, God is merciful and loving, “..The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercies for thousands..”(Exodus 34:6-7). In His great love, he gives us second chances. However, there will come a day when we will have no more second opportunities. But count today as an opportunity to praise God and love Him for His mercies and most importantly the second chance we received through Jesus Christ. For “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespass to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). What good news, we have been reconciled with the Father through Jesus Christ!

Blessings,

Alejandra Zepeda

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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