3.42 Numbers -- Aaron's Rod

The Lord had Moses take sticks from each of the 12 tribes and place them in the tent of meeting overnight.  (No doubt these rods were not gathered on the Sabbath.)  The following day, the rod with Aaron's name (representing the tribe of Levi) had blossomed and borne ripe almonds. The rods were shown to the people, then Aaron's was placed back in the Ark


         "as a sign to the rebellious. This will put an end to their grumbling against me, so that they will not die" (Num 17:10).

         To stop the people's bickering, God publicly selected Aaron and the Levites to have exclusive care of the sanctuary:

         "I am giving you the service of the priesthood as a gift. Anyone else who comes near the sanctuary must be put to death"  (Num 18:7).

         "You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them; I am your share and your inheritance among the Israelites" (Num 18:20).

        

Here we have the conjoining of burden and privilege.  They are directly related.  Aaron bore the greatest burden -- ministering to the Lord, an occupation demanding his full attention and devotion.  And he received the greatest blessing:  "I am your share and inheritance."  With God as his portion, he had it All.  Let other men be concerned about crop yields, herds, land values, trade goods.  The Levites were to focus on the things of God, while all their material needs were provided for.  To those with a heart for God, this was heaven, but for those who yearned for a more earthly inheritance, it was a new servitude.