Archive for July, 2011

Just finished reading Numbers 17 this morning (by the way, the Book of Numbers may be misnamed…. only a handful of chapters deal with “numbers” and population counts).  In it, God initiates a test case, to stop the Israelites from grumbling and complaining against Moses and Aaron.

The scenario is simple.  God says to take one staff from the leader of each of the 12 tribes of Israel.  Write the leader’s name on his staff.  For the tribe of Levi, write Aaron’s name.  Put all 12 sticks before the Ark of the Covenant and leave them overnight.  The one staff that sprouts overnight, that is the man that I’ve chosen to be priest before me.

Next morning… not only has Aaron’s staff sprouted, but it has gone much further.  Some sprouts became buds, some buds became blossoms, and some blossoms yielded almonds!  Overnight.  In the dark.

Upon seeing this, the people stop yammering for leadership, for position, for privilege.  God’s chosen one is clear.

What can I learn from this?

1.  God is God, and I am not.  Dan, accept the role in God’s Kingdom that He has given to you.

2.  Don’t complain against God’s chosen leadership, even if you don’t understand their decisions.

3.  Absolutely nothing is impossible for the living God.  He can make a dead stick produce abundant life.  He is alive right now, today.  Nothing is impossible for Him to do.

4.  Aaron is not chosen because of his impeccable character.  He has at least 2 disqualifiers in his life: the golden calf (Exodus 32), and his opposition to Moses that left his sister with leprosy (Numbers 12).  Though counterintuitive, our relatively righteous record (rrr) does not qualify us for God’s leadership.  None is righteous compared to God, not one.  All our righteousness is the delegated kind, the gifted kind, the credited kind.

5.  Finally and most noteworthy, Jesus is the better Staff of Aaron.  Unlike other religious leaders in history, only Jesus, when ‘cut off’ like a branch from the tree, did not dry up and decay.  Rather, when cut off (dead) and placed in the dark, he alone came back to life one morning, sprouting, budding, blossoming and producing fruit out of death.  As Aaron’s staff rose from death, much more did Jesus rise from death to produce life everywhere He goes.


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I was reading in Numbers 5 this morning, and came across this simple line:

When a man or woman wrongs another in any way and so is unfaithful to God… v.5

Now, I’d expect it to say, “… and so is unfaithful to that person?”  How is it that when we wrong another person, we are actually being unfaithful to God?

Let me try an analogy:

1.  If I injure, abuse, or even kill a precious child, have I not also crushed the parent’s heart?

2.  If I destroy a masterpiece of art, have I not really crushed the artist’s heart?

God’s children, God’s greatest masterpieces … are people.  To hurt another person (made in God’s image) is to wound, offend, and crush the heart of God the Parent, God the Artist, God the Creator.

All sin against another person finds its ultimate offense and violation against the heart of God, the Creator of that person.  To put it rather crassly, He is the owner, and you are destroying His property.  (Only, it’s more important than that).

What if I thought this thought all the time?  What if I consistently thought, ‘if I do harm to my neighbor, I’m primarily offending the heart of God’?

What if my Christian friends thought like this?  What if the Churches of America thought like this?  What might happen in our society, to stoke it’s soul, before the fire goes out?

I fear for America’s future.  Not just for it’s institutions, but for it’s soul.  It is the collection of 300 million souls.  It is only as alive as each person is alive before God.  An unconverted public is a blind America stumbling toward the cliff.

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