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04-Numbers 017-018

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Numbers 17


…get from them a rod…

·         The rod was a symbol of authority because shepherds would use a rod to guide, protect, and correct his sheep

o        One of God’s favorite types for Himself in Scripture is that of the Shepherd of His flock


…thus I will rid Myself of the complaints…

·         It’s not that this would forever silence the complaining of the children of Israel – it didn’t – but that now God was drawing a line in the sand, and demonstrating once-and-for-all who His choice was for the priestly office…and that God would no longer tolerate their complaining – He would from this point forward judge their complaining, and this incident would be the clear-as-day signpost He would point to in that judgment when they in the future ignored it and complained anyway.

o        God has tremendous – tremendous patience; but His patience is not eternal.

o        There comes a point where He says in effect, “alright, enough is enough!”

o        …thankfully, though His patience isn’t eternal, it is very long

§         “Longsuffering” is one of the attributes He describes Himself with in the Bible – and aren’t you glad!


…a sign against the rebels…

·         God established the Aaronic priesthood – that the priests would be descendants of Aaron, and only they could minister as priests before the Lord.

o        Nobody took this honor on themselves; they were called and appointed.

o        So how can Jesus be our High Priest according to Hebrews (Heb. 7)…?

§         Because He is a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, not Aaron – a new priesthood for a new ministry

·         Not the Law, but grace.

…to be kept as a sign…

·         The rod that budded – a sign of Israel’s rebellion, and the broken tablets of the Law – a sign of Israel’s complete inability to keep God’s covenant, were kept in the Ark

o        But on top of the Ark, covering it, was the mercy seat; the blood of the sacrifice would cover the mercy seat, which would in turn cover the signs of Israel’s sin.

§         So when God would otherwise see His people’s sin, instead He saw the blood of the sacrifice

§         When God looks at you & me, He doesn’t see, in a sense, our sinfulness; He sees us washed in the blood of Jesus, and He is then able to see us as pure, holy children, and is able to love and bless us – because of what Jesus did, not because of what we earn or deserve.

Numbers 18


…you shall bear the iniquity…

·         They were responsible for it, and accountable to God for/in it.

o        God never gives authority without responsibility.

·         This is an important counterpoint to the previous chapter; yes, God had called Aaron and his sons to be the priest, and gave them thereby great privilege and great authority – but that authority was delegated, and came with great scrutiny and authority

o        Aaron had to answer for what happened “on his watch,” so to speak.

·         [Guzik] If God gives someone headship and expects others to submit to them in His order, God also has a special accountability for that person.


…a covenant of salt…

·         Salt is incorruptible – it is a preservative

o        The covenant that God makes with us is incorruptibleit makes us pure – we don’t make ourselves pure to get or maintain it, and it preserves us – we don’t preserve it.

·         [Guzik] According to custom, a bond of friendship was established through the eating of salt. It was said that once you had eaten a man’s salt, you were his friend for life.

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