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Numbers Chapter 17   (ESV)

1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the people of Israel, and get from them staffs, one for each fathers’ house, from all their chiefs according to their fathers’ houses, twelve staffs. Write each man’s name on his staff, 3 and write Aaron’s name on the staff of Levi. For there shall be one staff for the head of each fathers’ house. 4 Then you shall deposit them in the tent of meeting before the testimony, where I meet with you. 5 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.” 6 Moses spoke to the people of Israel. And all their chiefs gave him staffs, one for each chief, according to their fathers’ houses, twelve staffs. And the staff of Aaron was among their staffs. 7 And Moses deposited the staffs before the Lord in the tent of the testimony.


8 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. 9 Then Moses brought out all the staffs from before the Lord to all the people of Israel. And they looked, and each man took his staff. 10 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.” 11 Thus did Moses; as the Lord commanded him, so he did.



  • Read aloud this passage and try to appreciate the situation then.
  • The Israelite leaders challenged the authority of Aaron’s priesthood. God performed a miracle causing Aaron’s staff to sprout overnight.  Thus God demonstrated to all Israelites His choice of Aaron and confirmed Aaron’s priestly authority.  Then God told Moses the staff was “to be kept as a sign …  put an end to their grumbling against me, so that they will not die.”(v10)  Once again, God pointed it out to them that though they were challenging Moses and Aaron, their true target of complaint was toward God.
  • Examine before God, do I grumble against our church pastors, deacons, cell leaders and other leaders? Do I challenge their authority?  What does God speak to me through this passage today?  Who’s my real target of complaint?



Tell God about my thoughts and feelings, or confess to God.  Consider areas that I need to adjust my attitude toward God, and leaders of the church?  Is there any practical ways I can do to amend this issue and to show my genuine appreciation for the leaders (or one specific leader)?