God’s Chosen Authority

Scripture Reading for February 16: Numbers 17-20

Our reading today follows the awful deaths of Korah and his family.  The earth actually opened up and swallowed them all and they went down to Sheol crying out. (Numbers 16:31-34) They rebelled against the leadership of Moses and, in doing so, against God.  It’s so easy for people to criticize leadership.  Each person seems to be able to see a different or better way to do things.  Each leader has his own faults as well– none are perfect!  But we learn from this record that God Himself chooses leaders and places them in authority.  When we rebel or criticize leadership, we are rebelling and criticizing God!  He is not pleased with grumbling and rebellion!

In Numbers 17, we have a record of God’s mercy towards the people of Israel.  He had the leaders of each tribe bring their staffs and lay them before the Lord in the Tent of Meeting.  The next morning, Aaron’s staff had budded, blossomed, and produced ripe almonds! (Numbers 17:8)  The other staffs were still dry sticks of wood!  God had demonstrated his choice of authority!  Only Aaron and his sons would be High Priests!  Moses was to take this rod and place it in the Tabernacle of Testimony as a reminder of his chosen authority. His desire was to stop the grumbling and call the people to faith and godly submission.

This incident is a picture of Jesus Christ as God’s chosen authority!  He meekly and obediently followed God’s instructions as he lived and walked on earth. He lived a sinless life and was crucified and laid in a tomb.  All religious Jews had criticized His leadership and servant ministry.  But God raised Him from the dead!  He produces fruit in raising to eternal life all who put their trust in Him.  He is presently God’s “rod of authority” seated at God’s right hand.  He is our High Priest forever!  He ever lives to make intercession for us!  What a pleasure to trust God’s authority!  All those who won’t trust will end up like Korah!  The earth will open up and Sheol will swallow them with weeping, crying and gnashing of teeth!

Take some time today and pray for those in authority over you. Give them a call or drop them a note and let them know that you appreciate them. Practice giving honor to God’s chosen authority!

“Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.” 1st Peter 2:17

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