Bible Time Period: Desert Wanderings
You taught Israel to walk in faith through 40 years’ wandering in the desert: Help me to trust in you today, O God.
Chapter 17 explains how Aaron’s staff became a sign of his high priesthood. You may have heard before about “Aaron’s budded rod” as something that is later kept along with the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments and a jar of manna in the Ark of the Covenant as a permanent witness to these days. They also are a sign of the One who is to come, who really IS God’s presence on earth: Jesus is the High Priest that Aaron’s staff represents; he is the Word signified by the tablets of stone; and he is the Bread of Life typified by the manna, “food from heaven” for their journey. The Church Fathers saw the Ark of the Covenant, which contained these things and which was the seat of God’s presence, as a type of Mary, who bore the Word to the world.
Chapters 18-20 explain some of God’s instructions regarding the priests and Levites and the famous sin by which Moses and Aaron lose entry to the Promised Land.
Recall how God tells Israel who he has chosen to be their spiritual leader and high priest (chs. 17-18). Why do you think he uses such dramatic means?
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