The budding of Aaron’s rod

Do you know someone who has: A song waiting to be sung? Some are waiting to be hung? A piece waiting to be played? A scene waiting to be staged? A tale waiting to be told? A book waiting to be sold? A rhyme waiting to be read? A speech waiting to be said? If you do, don’t let the … More


In today’s passage God proves once again to the people that Aaron can be trusted and he is the High Priest of Israel (vv. 1-6). A situation was set up for a visible sign of God’s unmistakable choice of Aaron as High Priest. Each tribe was to be represented by a rod or branch of an almond tree, upon which was to be inscribed the name of their tribe. Since the number of rods was twelve (v. 6), and since one rod was for the tribe of Levi, Aaron’s name was on it. At the appointed time, the rod of the man of God’s choosing would bud, and this sign was to settle who was God’s man (v. 5).

After witnessing spectacular miracles, seeing the Egyptians punished by the plagues, and experiencing the actual presence of God, the Israelites still complained and rebelled (vv. 7-13). The next day when Moses entered the tabernacle, he saw that it was Aaron’s rod that had budded. Aaron’s staff “brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds” (v. 8). The other 11 rods were just as they had been presented and as the people saw no buds on theirs. As usual, the Israelites overreacted when they heard the news and concluded that anybody who came near the tabernacle would perish. At least they had a fear of judgment, but they didn’t have a true fear of God in their hearts. They now saw themselves as those who could not compete against God (vv. 12-13).

The Lord gave Israel three reminders to encourage them to obey His Law and submit to His will:

  1. The tassels on their garments.
  2. The brass plates on the altar.
  3. Aaron’s rod in the Holy of Holies.

To encourage the believers today to be obedient children, the Lord has given us:

  1. His Word (John 17:17).
  2. The indwelling Holy Spirit (I Cor. 6:19-20).
  3. The Lord’s Supper, reminding us of the death of Christ and His promised return (I Cor. 11:23-34).
  4. The interceding Savior in heaven (Heb. 4:14-16).


Before I judge God’s ancient people too severely, perhaps I need to examine my own heart to see if I have encouraged others to obey the authority of His Word and His appointed leaders.

Numbers 17:1-13 (English Standard Version)

Warning: MagpieRSS: Failed to parse RSS file. (EntityRef: expecting ';' at line 49, column 103) in /var/www/html/familytimes/includes/magpie6-1/ on line 230

Warning: array_slice() expects parameter 1 to be array, null given in /var/www/html/familytimes/includes/rss/esvLookup.php on line 15

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »