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  The Great Bible Story #40
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Moses and Aaron miss it

Jacob Ninan
God told Moses to collect twelve rods, one from each tribe, and to write the name of the tribe on them, with Aaron's name for the tribe of Levi. These rods were placed in the Most Holy Place overnight, and when they were taken out, Aaron's rod had not only blossomed miraculously but also brought out almonds. This was an indication of who God had chosen as His priest. This rod was placed inside the ark of the covenant as a permanent reminder.

As the people moved on in the desert and came to the place called Kadesh, Miriam died and was buried. The people grumbled loudly because there was no water there to drink. Following the pattern of what God had done earlier, He showed them a rock. Moses and Aaron were asked to gather all the people near this rock and then speak to the rock. Then God would produce water to come out from the rock so that it would be enough for the people and their animals.

But by this time Moses' patience had worn thin. He was upset with the people for their grumbling and shouted at them, calling them rebels. In his frustration and anger, instead of speaking to the rock as God had commanded him, he took his rod and struck the rock two times! God still sent the water abundantly for the people, but He was very upset with Moses and Aaron. He told them they would not be allowed to have the privilege of leading the people into the Promised Land of Canaan. Moses tried to plead with Him, but He was very firm because he had not demonstrated faith in front of the people but dishonoured Him.

The time came for Aaron to die. So God told Moses to take him and his son Eliezer to Mount Hor where he had to take off the High Priest's garments from Aaron and put them on Eliezer. Thus Eliezer became the next High Priest.

God has no favourites. Moses was the best man God had at that time. But when he failed, He would not show him any special favours. Also He always takes the sins of the leaders more seriously, because He has given them much and He expects much from them. In His dealing with Moses in this way, He left an example for everyone to see and learn from.

At the same time, He loved the people and could not let them suffer too much even though their leader had failed. He gave them water in spite of Moses' failure.

Jesus is the Rock which was struck for giving us salvation. Speaking to the Rock the second time without striking it again shows us that the death of Jesus is the way for us once for all.


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