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January 1, 2019

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
Christian Standard Bible for 2019

Text: Genesis 1-3
Audio: Genesis 1-3

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

Numbers 17 (ESV)

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “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, and write Aaron’s name on the staff of Levi. For there shall be one staff for the head of each fathers’ 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 him staffs, one for each chief, according to their fathers’ houses, twelve 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, 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.

12 And the people of Israel said to Moses, “Behold, we perish, we are undone, we are all undone. 13 Everyone who comes near, who comes near to the tabernacle of the Lord, shall die. Are we all to perish?”

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Next: Numbers 18

Back: Numbers 16

This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. Stopping the Grumbling and Rebellion

    As we can attest from our own experience, grumbling is hard to stop. We can have victory in battles here and there but to win the war against grumbling takes effort and ultimately the power of God. 

    The people of Israel were not relying on God but were grumbling and rebelling against Him, against Moses and against Aaron and the Levites who God chose to serve Him out of all of God's people. 

    Even with all the things that happened in the previous chapter, God wants to stop the grumbling and does so in an interesting way. He has the people of Israel gather twelve staffs, one for each chief, according to their fathers' houses and write their names on them and put them in the tent of meeting. The staff of the man who God chooses will spout. Aaron's staff sprouted!

    The people of Israel now have confirmation not only that Aaron and the Levites are his chosen tribe but they recognize Moses as the leader when they confess their fear of perishing if they go near the tabernacle where Aaron's staff was to remain.

    In writing about why God is so bothered by grumbling, Iain Duguid writes, "It seems on the face of it to be a victimless crime: when we grumble, it seems that no one is robbed or hurt. So why is grumbling a sin worthy of death? The answer is because grumbling robs and hurts God. Grumbling assaults God’s glory. John Piper has rightly argued that God is most glorified when his people are most satisfied in him. If that is true, though, what happens when his people are most dissatisfied with him? He is robbed of his greatest glory. When God’s people grumble, they miss out on their chief end in life: as long as they are grumbling, they are neither glorifying God nor enjoying him. In addition, grumbling believers give non-Christians little reason to want to join them. When we grumble against the order that God has set in place, we are robbing God of the praise and glory that is his due, holding our hearts closed against him, and distracting others from seeing his greatness. That is why grumbling is such a serious sin."

    Duguid, I. M., & Hughes, R. K. (2006). Numbers: God’s presence in the wilderness (pp. 212–213). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books

    Are you satisfied with God or dissatisfied with Him?

    Does your life reflect faith and trust or frustration and grumbling?

    Let's make 2019 a year we glorify God and enjoy Him!

  2. This is such a great reading, and I always appreciate your commentary, as it helps me to see and understand it in the proper perspective. 

    There is someone in my life with whom I really want to share this with, and I hope it's received in the way it's given – with love. 

    God has blessed me beyond words. I am so incredibly grateful, and I always pray that I will praise Him in the storms. 

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