Read: Numbers 17:1-13
“Speak to the Israelites and get twelve staffs from them, one from the leader of each of their ancestral tribes. Write the name of each man on his staff. On the staff of Levi write Aaron’s name, for there must be one staff for the head of each ancestral tribe. Place them in the tent of meeting in front of the ark of the covenant law, where I meet with you. The staff belonging to the man I choose will sprout, and I will rid myself of this constant grumbling against you by the Israelites.”
So Moses spoke to the Israelites, and their leaders gave him twelve staffs, one for the leader of each of their ancestral tribes, and Aaron’s staff was among them. Moses placed the staffs before the Lord in the tent of the covenant law. Numbers 17:2-7
I’m going to be honest. After reading this chapter I was a little puzzled. We see all through the Old Testament that Moses has this intimate relationship with God. God speaks to Moses on a regular basis and with great detail. Nothing is hidden and everything is open between them. But here, although God gives clear instruction, His communication is really left to a “sign.”
“The rod which sprouts will represent the person I have chosen.” – paraphrase of vs. 5
This puzzled me because it seemed so uncharacteristic of how God communicated in the past. It always seemed to be more like, “Moses, this is who I have chosen.” It seemed to me that God would always “cut to the chase.” Here it’s a little different.
Here’s my point:
Sometimes it’s difficult to understand why God does things a certain way. Sometimes it difficult to obey God’s instructions when we can’t make sense of the “why” behind those instructions. Nevertheless, we must always remember that God is not a God of futility. He is a God who knows all and sees all. His instructions, although odd sometimes, are filled with purpose. It’s not our job (or our privilege for that matter) to discern the quality of God’s means. It is our job to trust God. Let’s do that.
Lord, may I live in obedience to Your Word. Help me trust in Your ways above my own. I am Your servant. Amen.