Numbers 17-18, Psalm 45
Our ability to manifest the fruits of the Holy Spirit depends on our honest realization of who we were and what we have become. Many are fairly satisfied with their own level of goodness and righteousness and are therefore putting forth the best they can in their own strength. Paul opens our eyes to our true state in Ephesians 2:1-3, "And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works on the sons of disobedience, among whom we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others." The authority of Moses and Aaron were being challenged by the others. The illustration presented in Numbers 17 will clearly confirm and validate Aaron's ministry as High Priest.
God instructs Moses in Numbers 17:2, "Speak to the children of Israel, and get a rod from each father's house, all their leaders according to their fathers' houses-twelve rods". What all of these rods had in common were they were all dead pieces of wood. We read of the test in 17:5, "And it shall be that the rod of the man whom I choose will blossom; thus I will rid Myself of the complaints of the children of Israel, which they make against you." Essentially the dead one that comes to life is the one God has chosen. We see the result in 17:8, "Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses went into the tabernacle of witness, and behold, the rod of Aaron, of the house of Levi, has sprouted and put forth buds, had produced blossoms, and yielded ripe almonds." This validated Aaron as their High Priest. The validation of Jesus Christ rests on the truth of His resurrection. Jesus died on the cross for our sins and was placed dead in the tomb, like the rod in the tabernacle. Three days later, our Savior rose from the grave, therefore being validated as our Great High Priest. As it says in Hebrews 4:15, "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin."
This example validates both Aaron and Jesus. But this also can be used to validate us. We read in 1 Peter 2:9, "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;". Aaron's job was to serve God and represent God to the people and the people to God. This is our ministry also, as written in Matthew 5:16, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Jesus goes on in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:20, "Therefore by their fruits you will know them." Paul spells out what these fruits are in Galatians 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control." Like Aaron's rod we come to this relationship dead in our sins and trespasses, offering nothing in ourselves. But also like that same rod, God can, through The Holy Spirit bring life to what was dead and bring forth fruit in abundance.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: