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Aaron's Blooming Rod [Part 1]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright
The Truth Network Radio
September 14, 2022 6:00 am

Aaron's Blooming Rod [Part 1]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright

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Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Allen Wright.

Even if you set the standard yourself and said, this is the standard that we should all live by, you couldn't live by it. That's the problem, isn't it? I tell you, it's not only if we try hard to be good, but even when we're at our bravest and our identity, we feel like we're at our best.

Isn't there a little part of you that feels like, yeah, but there's still something. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of Good News that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in our series called Moses, as presented at Reynolda Church in North Carolina. If you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It'll be yours for your donation this month to Allen Wright Ministries.

So as you listen to today's message, we encourage you to go deeper as we send you today's special offer. Contact us at pastorallen.org. That's pastorallen.org. Or call 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. More on this later in the program. But now, let's get started with today's teaching.

Here is Allen Wright. Are you ready for some good news? Jesus is alive. And because He's alive, it means that we have a great high priest in heaven. And because we have a great high priest in heaven who intercedes and advocates for us, it has changed everything. We're continuing today in a series on Moses.

And we fast forward in our journey with Moses to some years ahead of where we've been in recent weeks in order to look at one of the great pictures of resurrection in the Old Testament. What's happened is that the people of God have sent some spies into the land of Canaan to spy it out. And they came back with a bad report. And the people became afraid to go in and take the land that God had given to them.

There are only two that brought a positive report back. But they were overwhelmed by the negative report. And so the people are now being relegated to wander the wilderness for 40 years because they didn't go take what God had given them. And the people have been, as we've been following the story of Moses, they have been in a cycle of grumbling and murmuring. God will provide for them. And then as soon as they get thirsty, they grumble again. God will provide for them.

But as soon as they get scared, they murmur again. And now we come to a very interesting uprising that is told in the book of Numbers. This is the fourth book in your Bible, Numbers, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers. And you come to chapter 16 where there is what is known as Korah's Rebellion. Korah is a Levite, which I'll explain in a few moments. And he rises up and gathers some others around him to rebel against Moses and his brother Aaron. Aaron has been appointed as the high priest.

And Korah wants to be the high priest. Verse 2 of Numbers chapter 16, and they rose up before Moses with a number of the people of Israel, 250 chiefs of the congregation chosen from the assembly, well-known men. They assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron and said to them, you've gone too far. For all in the congregation are holy, every one of them. And the Lord is among them.

Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord? And so what happens if we were to read the rest of this chapter is that this heinous rebellion, which is stemming from Korah and others, instead of seeing Moses and Aaron as servants, which Moses and Aaron most certainly were, they accuse them of trying to wield all the power of themselves. And God is very displeased with this. In fact, there's several judgments that come against these people, including this dramatic scene where the earth opens up and they are all swallowed up in some sort of gigantic sinkhole. But people continue to grumble. And so God has a different plan in mind that is going to change the attitude of the people forever. In other words, the judgments didn't cause the people to be transformed.

But what happens in Numbers chapter 17 does bring a transformation and everybody sees what happens. Numbers 17 verse 1, the Lord spoke to Moses saying, speak to the people of Israel and get from them staffs, one for each father's house, from all their chiefs according to their father's houses, 12 staffs. Write each man's name on his staff and write Aaron's name on the staff of Levi, for there should be one staff for the head of each father's house. Then you shall deposit them in the tent of meeting before the testimony where I meet with you. And the staff of the man whom I choose shall sprout.

Thus I will make to cease from me the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against you. Moses spoke to the people of Israel and all their chiefs gave them staffs, one for each chief according to their father's house, 12 staffs. And the staff of Aaron was among their staffs. And Moses deposited the staffs before the Lord in the tent of the testimony. On the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony and behold the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms and it bore ripe almonds. Then Moses brought out all the staffs from before the Lord to all the people of Israel and they looked. Each man took his staff and the Lord said to Moses, put back the staff of Aaron before the testimony to be kept as a sign for the rebels that you may make an end of their grumblings against me lest they die.

Thus did Moses as the Lord commanded him so he did. And so with this sign of life everything changed for the people. Most of you heard me tell that when Abby my daughter and I went to Papua New Guinea for the ultimate mission trip after six flights making it through Australia through the mainland of Papua New Guinea to a little island that was just off the northern coast of the mainland of Papua New Guinea. We had come into a sort of paradise that was right near the equator about 95 degrees and 95 percent humidity all the time. Everything on the whole island was green. Green everywhere you look was green. It was so green that one of the missionaries was telling me that some people in his village back over in the mainland if they found a piece of trash or a piece of red paper or something off of a piece of trash they would have been putting it up in their huts. He was like, why are you putting trash up on your walls?

They didn't look at his trash. They said it was just a different color than green. And so everything is green. Everything grows. The soil is so fertile on this little island. It was a volcanic island and along the beach the sand was black because it was volcanic and it was just all that somehow had mixed into almost fertile soils.

Even I could have grown stuff there. And here's how I know this is because in a very gracious way the local Papua New Guineans had made for us westerners with our sensitive western skin. They had made a little shelter that stretched out like a canopy with thatched palm branches at the top so that during the long Bible dedication service we could sit under it and watch these people get their first New Testament in their own language.

And it was absolutely marvelous. And I just so appreciated they'd gone all this trouble. What they'd done is they put these sticks in the ground and other sticks across and then just laid this palm branches and thatch all across the top. Well the point of this thing is that after a number of days of these sticks being stuck in the ground with all of that humidity and all that fertile soil it was just unbelievable. The sticks had sprouted. They were just budding.

Well today's story it reminds me of that and it reminds me of the crosses that we come and adore on Easter day that start out symbolically as bear crosses. In the end of Easter day we've adorned with all these flowers. But what we have before today is a story that's far greater than this because what happens is Aaron's rod miraculously buds and then blossoms with these beautiful aromatic flowers and then it produces ripe almonds all accelerated in time. It buds with life. It becomes alive.

It blossoms with beautiful flowers and then it is all of a sudden bearing ripe fruit. And I want to just talk to you today about three basic things with this text. What is Korah and all those others? What are they so upset about? Why this rebellion? What makes them so jealous and so upset to rebel against Moses and Aaron?

And what was the symbol of this budding flowering rod of Aaron? Why is this so important to identify the true high priest? And then finally why is this such good news? Well let's start with Korah and this whole rebellion.

Why is he so upset? Well in order to answer that question you have to think a little bit about who the priests of Israel were. And this is really really important to understanding this story, understanding why Korah was so upset and it's so important to understanding ultimately what the good news is for us. All of the priests of Israel God had said must come from the tribe of Levi.

There were 12 sons of Jacob so those were the 12 tribes of Israel. That's Alan Wright and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. Ever feel like something's holding you back as if you lack an important key that could change everything?

Is there someone you love who seems stuck? You'd like to help them but how? What's missing? Blessing. We all need a positive faith-filled vision spoken over our lives. You can learn how to embrace the biblical practice of blessing through Pastor Alan Wright's new book The Power to Bless which quickly became an Amazon number one bestseller after its recent release. Until now the hardcover book has only been available through retail sales but this month Alan Wright Ministries wants to send you the book as our thank you for your donation. Make your gift today and discover the power to bless. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860. That's 877-544-4860 or come to our website PastorAlan.org. Today's teaching now continues.

Here once again is Alan Wright. When they would go in eventually into the promised land each one of those tribes or those families would get a portion of the land assigned to them except for one. One tribe, one family, the family of Levi didn't get any land. They didn't get any land because God had said that the Levites the descendants of Levi they weren't going to be farmers they weren't going to be building their own estates they were going to be tending to the things of God at the tabernacle and so the Levites were assigned at different levels responsibilities for handling the sacred furniture handling the sacred vessels handling all the things that went on with the service of the Lord at the at the tabernacle. So all the Levites didn't get land which by the way goes far to explain places like Psalm 73 where the psalmist says whom have I in heaven but thee and on earth I desire none besides thee my flesh and my heart might fail but you oh Lord are my portion forever.

Whenever you see something like that you can get a sense this is a this is a Levite who's talking because what he's saying is I didn't get a portion of land but God is my portion and the Levites would live off the tithes of the people so they would raise their farms and give the first 10 percent of their produce into the temple and Levites would be able to live off this. So the family of Levi was the family that was assigned to serve the Lord and all the tabernacle and all the workings of the ministry but not all the Levites were priests. This is the important thing to know all priests were Levites but not all Levites were priests. There were really three subsets within the family of Levi or the Levites and only one of those families could become priests and that was the family of Moses's brother his older brother Aaron.

Now why was this the case because God said so. God had set it up this way and he had said that Moses is the deliverer the covenant maker and the lawgiver but Aaron is going to be the high priest and so in order to be a priest in Israel you first had to be a Levite and then you also had to be of the family of Aaron. So Korah was a Levite. His great-grandfather and Aaron's great-grandfather was Levi and so their two fathers Korah and Aaron were brothers. Aaron and Korah were first cousins.

Makes sense. And the problem for Korah was that he was allowed as a Levite to handle the tabernacle the furniture and to do certain assigned tasks but he couldn't be a priest because he wasn't in Aaron's family. To make matters worse in Korah's mind Korah was a firstborn son and Aaron was a firstborn son. Moses was Aaron's younger brother and so as a firstborn son he thought I should have the rights of a firstborn son and I am a great-grandson of Levi. I am a Levi. Why does he get to be a priest? That's the bottom line. And so the initial jealousy is rooted in the fact that he doesn't get to be a priest but can I go a little deeper with this and say that I think that this kind of deep jealousy that would lead even to arousing a rebellion is about something that's even deeper than that that's being touched in the heart of Korah. It's something that is very painful to him and this is pointed out by the fact that Korah says to Moses and Aaron the Lord has said that we're all holy and this was true only to a point because in Exodus 19 in the formation of the old covenant the Lord said you shall be my treasure people a holy nation to me but it was all predicated upon this if you will obey my commands you are holy in the old covenant because you are obedient and so here's the reality in the old covenant what we see under the law is that nobody could keep the law and so in this sense people by their own efforts were proving that they could not be holy and yet the Lord had said his intention was he wanted his people to be set apart unto himself you see what Korah is saying here is saying you act like you're better than us you are acting like you're holier than us you're not holier than us and this was this was running deep within him now the fact of the matter is that God had said that Aaron and the priest are considered by me to be more holy in this sense they are allowed to come into the inner place in the in the tent of meeting or later the tabernacle of the temple and they are allowed to do ministry that others are not and the high priest one man Aaron on the day of atonement could come in behind the veil and there offer sacrifice on behalf of the people sprinkle the blood of an innocent animal over the ark of the covenant and the lid of the ark of the covenant was known as the mercy seat and it was thought of as the throne of God and there could meet with God and so Korah's great complaint is actually the cry of every human heart I want somehow to be acceptable and be close to God I want to be holy enough I want to be able to go behind the curtain I want to be able to meet with God see the reason that Korah was so jealous and was so hurt is because he was riddled like all humanity is without Christ he was riddled with an inward sense of shame I don't quite measure up there's something that's flawed about me and this bothers me so much I would rather fight and kill you than to try to deal with my own shame instead of coming to God and saying help me deal with this shame I want to be in your presence instead of being thankful that he was a Levite and he was privileged in so many ways instead of being thankful he'd been delivered instead he was just consumed with this sense of something is not measuring up with me you see controlling and demanding people who are always putting others down or rousing up a rebellion against somebody else most of the time haven't you found those people are actually though all puffed up on the outside are inwardly insecure because secure people don't have to be like that secure people don't have to go controlling and and it is really rooted in the deep insecurity and the problem with humanity is that even when we try our very hardest we know there's something in us it just doesn't ever quite measure up and this is what causes so much angst in the human soul this is the source of most of the sin most of the problems most of the division most of the addiction most of the depression this is the problem is this some sort of unconscious vague awareness I don't measure up no matter what standard you try to live up to you can't live up to it you could say the standards the ten commandments or you could say it's the sermon on the mount or you could say it's the teachings of Muhammad or you could say it's the teachings of Buddha whatever it is you're not going to be able to live up to it this was I got his permission a great brother in our church Hayden Ireland told me this past week one of the funniest stories I had just made mention last week of how I had had a small situation with a deputy sheriff on the highway in Virginia where he left me a friendly piece of paper to commemorate our little encounter and he said you think that your thing is funny and he told me this story he said in his neighborhood there was a stop sign everybody kept running the stop sign and it really bothered Hayden because it was dangerous people just rolling right through that stop sign and rolling right through that stop sign and finally he just thought this is unsafe I've got to do something about it he called the police and he said I need to bring to your attention that people keep going through this stop sign in our neighborhood and it's dangerous and they said thank you for letting us know the next week Hayden got up early in the morning to go to New Canis society it was still dark outside and he got to meet the police officer that had been sent out there right after he rolled through that stop sign what I'm saying is even if you set the standard yourself and said this is the standard that we should all live by you couldn't live by it that's the problem isn't it I tell you it's not only if we try hard to be good but even when we're at our bravest and our identity we feel like we're at our best isn't there a little part of you it feels like yeah but there's still something wrong Alan Wright in today's teaching Aaron's Blooming Rod unlock the power of blessing your life discover God's grace-filled vision for your life by signing up for Alan Wright's free daily blessing if you want to fill your heart with grace and encouragement get Alan Wright's daily blessing it's free and just a click away at pastor alan.org ever feel like something's holding you back as if you lack an important key that could change everything is there someone you love who seems stuck you'd like to help them but how what's missing blessing we all need a positive faith-filled vision spoken over our lives you can learn how to embrace the biblical practice of blessing through pastor Alan Wright's new book The Power to Bless which quickly became an Amazon number one bestseller after its recent release until now the hardcover book has only been available through retail sales but this month Alan Wright Ministries wants to send you the book as our thank you for your donation make your gift today and discover the power to bless the gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries this broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support when you give today we will send you today's special offer we are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries call us at 877-544-4860 that's 877-544-4860 or come to our website pastor alan.org Alan I love what you said there and I think that is a big takeaway for today and this illustration even if we were setting the standard even if somehow we could call those shots I think we would have even a tough time abiding by our own standards we we couldn't we we can't abide by any standard including our own standard this message actually was preached on an easter day and I thought it was an apt image of this dead otherwise dead piece of wood that blooms and how powerful that image is for us remembering that the things that we can't do God can do and he made everything out of nothing and so what is possible with God bends our minds and it is such such good news for us not just resurrection news but it is to say you know take your old wooden dead self surrender it to the presence of God and say Jesus you're the great high priest and you've been raised from the dead and so make me sprout and he can do that Alan today's teaching in the middle of this Moses series is Aaron's Blooming Rod incidentally was also given on an easter sunday message a resurrection sunday the sunday of sundays in the life of the church and so how in the world do you marry the resurrection of Christ with with Moses and Aaron's Blooming Rod how'd you tie all that together well it's simply this a completely dead stick buds blossoms and then bears fruit so there's a resurrection picture for you and it's a picture for for what for what God's done in Christ for us um who were dead and been made alive again it's uh it's a great image today's good news message is a listener supported production of Alan Wright Ministries
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-25 20:19:33 / 2023-02-25 20:28:35 / 9

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