Aaron’s rod

While the Israelites were in the wilderness some of them challenged the authority of Moses and Aaron to lead them.  God ended the dissent with a sign that showed whom he had chosen.

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel, and get from them staffs, one for each fathers’ house, from all their chiefs according to their fathers’ houses, twelve staffs.

Write each man’s name on his staff, and write Aaron’s name on the staff of Levi. For there shall be one staff for the head of each fathers’ house.

Then you shall deposit them in the tent of meeting before the testimony, where I meet with you. And the staff of the man whom I choose shall sprout.

Thus I will make to cease from me the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against you.”

Moses spoke to the people of Israel. And all their chiefs gave him staffs, one for each chief, according to their fathers’ houses, twelve staffs. And the staff of Aaron was among their staffs. And Moses deposited the staffs before the LORD in the tent of the testimony.
Numbers 17:1-7

Aaron’s rod was chosen.

On the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony, and behold, the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds.
Numbers 17:8

His rod was made of almond wood.  Almonds are first mentioned in the Bible when Jacob sent his sons on their second trip to Egypt to buy food during a famine.

Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: take some of the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry a present down to the man, a little balm and a little honey, gum, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds.”
Genesis 43:11

Almonds were native to Canaan, not Egypt.  It is possible that Aaron’s rod was made from a tree that grew in Canaan.  Aaron was born and raised in Egypt; he had never been in Canaan but he intended to go there and never return.  Perhaps he chose a rod made of almond wood as a sign that his mind was focused on where he was going, not where he came from.

There is one other significance to almond wood.

And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see an almond branch.” Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.”
Jeremiah 1:11-12

The Hebrew word for almond is shaqed.  The word for watching is shoqed.  Aaron’s rod was a constant reminder that God would keep the promises he had made to the Israelites.

Christians should have the same attitude that Aaron showed by his choice of a rod.

Like Aaron we were born in one country but out true home is in another; we were born on earth but we are now citizens of Heaven. We should follow Aaron’s example and  focus our attention on our final destination.

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
Colossians 3:1-2

We should also trust God’s promise that he will finish the work he has begun in our lives.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1:6

Posted on September 28, 2014, in Bible study, practical lessons and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Aaron’s rod.

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