Numbers 16-17

Korah, Datham, and Abiram-Line of Korah

This is dramatic chapter.  When you think about all the detailed planning from God we just read, this moment could throw it all away. This is not complaining.  This is REBELLION.   The leaders of this rebellion were “Korah”—a Levite of the Kohathite branch of the tribe and a first cousin of Moses and Aaron. These men gained the support of 250 other men from the other tribes, who were leaders among the Israelites. These men intended to overthrow God’s plan, and to replace it with one that seemed better to them. The rebels attributed Moses and Aaron’s position of leadership to personal ambition, rather than to obedience to God’s commands.

12 Then Moses summoned Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab. But they said, “We will not come!  Isn’t it enough that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the wilderness? (what? Egypt?) And now you also want to lord it over us!  Moreover, you haven’t brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey or given us an inheritance of fields and vineyards. Do you want to treat these men like slaves ? No, we will not come!” 

Did you get all that??

  • Moses was not the one that brought them out of Egypt.  God did.
  • Did they just call Egypt the Land of milk and honey?  Oh no they didn’t!
  • What? Moses didn’t bring them into the next land called the Land of milk and honey? He tried!  They refused to trust God.
  • Moses and Aaron do not want to lord over them…they fall on their face in prayer for them!

Good Grief!  It is a reality show.  So next we have this horrible scene:

Back in Numbers 14:18 ‘The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’

Such a hard scripture to chew on.  But here is an example this.

27 So they moved away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. Dathan and Abiram had come out and were standing with their wives, children and little ones at the entrances to their tents. 😢………the ground under them split apart 32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households, and all those associated with Korah, together with their possessions.

Chapter 17: Aaron’s staff.

So far:

  • Aaron’s rod was the one that turned into a snake in Pharaoh’s court
  • It was Aaron’s rod that God used to turn the water of Egypt into blood
  • It was Aaron’s rod that summoned the plagues of the frogs and gnats.

God set apart Aaron and his sons as priests. The rest of the Levites were to minister to the Lord in the tabernacle, offer sacrifices, and hear from God for the good of the whole nation.  To put an end to the unrest, God used Aaron’s staff to show them who God chose. God commanded Moses to have the leader of each tribe of Israel bring his rod or staff to the tent of meeting, with Aaron’s rod representing the tribe of Levi. Each of the twelve leaders was to have his name inscribed on his rod. The Lord told Moses, “Buds will sprout on the staff belonging to the man I choose. Then I will finally put an end to the people’s murmuring and complaining against you”.

So did it just SPROUT?  NO!!!  Aaron’s staff, representing the tribe of Levi, had sprouted, budded, blossomed, and produced ripe almonds!

I am not an almond grower BUT I did research the process.  It takes about 200 days to produce an almond AFTER a 3-4 year germination period. (Oh I could make a sermon out of this)Aaron's Rod Buds Story

Aaron’s rod didn’t just sprout buds; it brought forth flowers and fruit, a clear demonstration of the power of the One who gives life. Verse 10 says, “And the Lord said to Moses: ‘Place Aaron’s staff permanently before the Ark of the Covenant to serve as a warning to rebels. This should put an end to their complaints against me and prevent any further deaths.’”

You would think!!  Ummmm…

Trivia: What are the 3 items placed in the Ark of the Covenant?