Prayer: Come, Lord Jesus, come into our hearts, share with us your Word, and teach us to live as you would have us live. Amen.
5 And the staff of the man whom I choose shall sprout; thus I will put a stop to the complaints of the Israelites that they continually make against you.
The people were complaining. They lost confidence in their leader because they were having a tough time. They began to think that things were better before. They made things seem so bad that they were ready to rebel. Sounds like the Hebrews in today’s text, but it could be about the church around the corner.
God doesn’t like complaining from the people He has given so much grace and forgiveness. He has told us that He knows our pain and our troubles. In Moses’ day He gave them a sign as an example of His promise. From the Staff of Aaron, came buds, blossoms and ripe almonds. For us He sent His Son, also descended from Aaron who brought us mercy and grace and eternal life. Now why do we complain? God did not abandon the Hebrews, and He will not abandon us.
Our devotion writer declares; “Today we worship God, the great and holy One, who persistently works in our midst, daily filling the universe with a sacrificial love that will not be stopped. In Baptism we have been joined to the death and the resurrection of Jesus, joined to God, who will not give up. Thanks be to God!
Prayer: “Gracious God, fill us with a spirit of perseverance as we live in your love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
The Budding of Aaron’s Rod
17 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 Speak to the Israelites, and get twelve staffs from them, one for each ancestral house, from all the leaders of their ancestral houses. Write each man’s name on his staff, 3 and write Aaron’s name on the staff of Levi. For there shall be one staff for the head of each ancestral house. 4 Place them in the tent of meeting before the covenant, where I meet with you. 5 And the staff of the man whom I choose shall sprout; thus I will put a stop to the complaints of the Israelites that they continually make against you. 6 Moses spoke to the Israelites; and all their leaders gave him staffs, one for each leader, according to their ancestral houses, twelve staffs; and the staff of Aaron was among theirs. 7 So Moses placed the staffs before the Lord in the tent of the covenant.
8 When Moses went into the tent of the covenant on the next day, the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted. It put forth buds, produced blossoms, and bore ripe almonds. 9 Then Moses brought out all the staffs from before the Lord to all the Israelites; and they looked, and each man took his staff. 10 And the Lord said to Moses, “Put back the staff of Aaron before the covenant, to be kept as a warning to rebels, so that you may make an end of their complaints against me, or else they will die.” 11 Moses did so; just as the Lord commanded him, so he did.