Complaints

Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

“Speak to the sons of Israel, and get from them a rod for each father’s household: twelve rods, from all their leaders according to their fathers’ households. You shall write each name on his rod, and write Aaron’s name on the rod of Levi; for there is one rod for the head of each of their fathers’ households.

“You shall then deposit them in the tent of meeting in front of the testimony, where I meet with you.

“It will come about that the rod of the man whom I choose will sprout. Thus I will lessen from upon Myself the grumblings of the sons of Israel, who are grumbling against you.”

Moses therefore spoke to the sons of Israel, and all their leaders gave him a rod apiece, for each leader according to their fathers’ households, twelve rods, with the rod of Aaron among their rods. So Moses deposited the rods before the LORD in the tent of the testimony. Now on the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony; and behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds. (Numbers 17:1-8)

Some people just never learn. After the Exodus from Egypt, after the manna, after losing the Promised Land for a generation, a group of discontented people approached Moses and Aaron. Korah and about two hundred fifty men decided to challenge Moses and Aaron for leadership. In the end, God had the ground open up and swallow Korah and his followers. An additional 14,700 people died in the plague that followed.
But even after God had done all that, there were still those who wondered if Aaron was really the one who should be the high priest. After Aaron’s staff alone had budded, showing clearly who God had chosen to offer sacrifices—the response of the rest of the people was to finally be terrified. At long last they wondered if God might strike them down, just as he’d killed Korah and the rest. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

God’s will is rarely hard to discern. If God wants something done, if he has in mind who is to do it, he will make it abundantly clear. A person must be willfully obtuse to resist God. Too often when we say we don’t know God’s will, it isn’t so much that we don’t know it, it’s just that we don’t like it.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm a deacon at Quartz Hill Community Church. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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