Today’s Devotional: Numbers 17
I love God’s sense of humor. I think this might be the funniest chapter in the bible. I literally laughed out loud reading this incredibly short chapter that really packs a punch!
God tells the prince of every tribe to bring a dead stick (rod) to the tabernacle and that whichever rod sprouts, belongs to the prince who is worthy of having Godly authority on earth. Not only was Aaron’s rod the ONLY rod that sprouted, but verse 8 it says, “The next day Moses entered the tent and saw that Aaron’s staff, which represented the tribe of Levi, had not only sprouted but had budded, blossomed and produced almonds.”
And here’s the kicker – it was once dead and is now alive! Sound familiar? Plus, can you image how the other tribes felt when they realized they better buck up because it is clear that God chose Aaron to lead the people, not them? They have been among the Israelite complainers so God gives them a solid answer, which I think says, “Shut up!” Like only God can.
Then they babble in shock, verses 13-4 say, “The Israelites said to Moses, “We will die! We are lost, we are all lost! Anyone who even comes near the tabernacle of the LORD will die. Are we all going to die?”
Perhaps that is where my humor comes on this early Saturday morning. My ability to relate to these poor Israelite men. I want to get something my way and then God makes it clear that I’m not the one, can’t, or won’t. I have have resorted to having my own pity party and, in all honesty, has gotten a little over dramatic at times; just like the Isrealities here.
The best part of this message is that God raised the dead, which symbolizes Jesus, but also has a lot to say about what He can do in our lives. Dr. Vernon McGee says it best, “Friend, do you need mercy? Do you need help today? Is life monotonous? Is it stale, flat, and unprofitable? Then go to the Lord Jesus. He is up there for you, your Great High Priest. Are you lonely? Go to Him. Is life a battle that you are losing? Are you defeated? Go to Him. Is life a struggle against temptation that you cannot overcome? Go to Him. Is life a horrible mistake and you need wisdom at the crossroads of decision? Go to Him. Is life shrouded with sorrow for you today? Go to Him. He is our Great High Priest by His resurrection from the dead. He is alive! He is up there for us today!”
McGee, J. Vernon (1984-01-06). Thru the Bible Commentary, Volumes 1-5: Genesis through Revelation (Thru the Bible 5 Volume Set) (Kindle Locations 19170-19172). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.