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The Maturation Process Of The Almond And The Task Of The Priesthood

10.07.2017, Daniel Glimm

In Numbers 17:1-13 it is mentioned that the staff of Aaron began to flourish and to produce fruit in the tabernacle over night. This process served as a confirmation of the leadership chosen by God among the tribes of Israel.
The Name Written On The Rod
Before the growing miracle of the rod had happened, Moses had to write personally his brother`s name Aaron on the staff of his own tribe -Levi- and also to place it in the tabernacle with all the other rods of the leaders of the tribes of Israel (see Numbers 17:1-9) overnight.
Numbers 17:1-9:
1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and get twelve staffs from them, one from the leader of each of their ancestral tribes. Write the name of each man on his staff.
3 On the staff of Levi write Aaron’s name, for there must be one staff for the head of each ancestral tribe.
4 Place them in the tent of meeting in front of the ark of the covenant law, where I meet with you.
5 The staff belonging to the man I choose will sprout, and I will rid myself of this constant grumbling against you by the Israelites.”
6 So Moses spoke to the Israelites, and their leaders gave him twelve staffs, one for the leader of each of their ancestral tribes, and Aaron’s staff was among them.
7 Moses placed the staffs before the Lord in the tent of the covenant law.
8 The next day Moses entered the tent and saw that Aaron’s staff, which represented the tribe of Levi, had not only sprouted but had budded, blossomed and produced almonds.
9 Then Moses brought out all the staffs from the Lord’s presence to all the Israelites. They looked at them, and each of the leaders took his own staff.
This approach (note: the writing of the name of Aaron on the staff of the tribe of Levi) is a reference to us as people of God. We have to fully identify ourselves with our God assigned spiritual family in which we are called to express and share our identity and our gifts.
The Spiritual Family
A spiritual family does not primarily imply blood-related relationships but relationships of believers in Jesus Christ having the same spiritual character or desire to advance. In the same way longing to be in the center of the will of God as the leaders of the respective spiritual family would provide (Luke 8:19-21).
Luke 8:19-21:
19 Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd.
20 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.”
21 He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.”
The True Devotion To God
If we lay down our lives in love before God which means that we freely submit ourselves to His mighty hand, then He will confirm and lift us up in due time (see James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:6 in Romans 6:13; Romans 12:1).
James 4:10:
10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
1 Peter 5:6:
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
Romans 6:13:
13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.
Romans 12:1:
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.
The Confirming Sign
True surrender to God means that we become like Aaron's staff an affirmative sign of God getting into His presence even more closely; for it was the flourishing staff of Aaron that became a confirming sign of the head leadership for all the leaders of tribes of Israel on the next day. Afterwards Moses put the rod of Aaron into the ark of the covenant by the command of God (see Numbers 17:10-11 i.c.w. Hebrews 9:4-5a; Colossians 3:1-4).
Numbers 17:10-11:
10 The Lord said to Moses, “Put back Aaron’s staff in front of the ark of the covenant law, to be kept as a sign to the rebellious. This will put an end to their grumbling against me, so that they will not die.”
11 Moses did just as the Lord commanded him.
Hebrews 9:4-5a:
4 which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant.
5a Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. …
Colossians 3:1-4:
1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
4 When Christ, who is your1 life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
The Ark Of The Covenant And Jesus Christ
The Ark of the covenant made of acacia wood and covered with gold, with its golden Mercy seat is a symbol of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen One as well as the eternal ruler who sits at the right hand of God. In the Ark of the covenant was the Manna, the two tablets of stone (note: the word/commandment of God) and the flourishing rod of Aaron (see John 6:32-33.35a; John 1:14; Revelation 19:13; Luke 23:31; Luke 22:69).
John 6:32-33.35a:
32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.
33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” …
35a Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. …
John 1:14:
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Revelation 19:13:
13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.
Luke 23:31:
31 For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
Luke 22:69:
69 But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”
The Rod Of Aaron And The Priesthood
Almonds belong to fruits maturing most rapidly, and thus require only short time to grow from the state of inflorescence to bearing fruit. Because Aaron was the high priest and the staff of Aaron was an almond rod, this symbolically points to the priest's office and priesthood since then.
The Fast Maturation Process Of The Almond
As believers in Jesus Christ we are bought by His blood and called to be kings and priests before God (see Revelation 1:5-6), we should not content ourselves with carrying out our tasks in an ordinary way. Rather, we should endeavor to bear responsibility and to eagerly fulfill our tasks in the center of the will of God like the rapid maturing process of almonds (see Titus 2:14) represents.
Titus 2:14:
… 14 who (note: Jesus Christ) gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
The Fully Developed Fruit
The spiritual fruit which can be developed in us through the presence of God, is like a ripe almond fruit. This almond fruit is supposed to be drawing people's attention to the fact that they are in a new season and also should be (more) attentive to the manifestation of God's delivered word. The reason is simply because the almond tree is the first tree in Israel blooming in spring.
Furthermore, the Hebrew word used for “almond” in the Word of God is the word "šāqēd", which is derived from the root word "šāqad" and means "to watch, to lookout" (see Jeremiah 1:11-12). (note: partial excerpt from the Elberfelder study Bible on the word "almond-šāqēd" and the word "watching-šāqad" with the word key number: 8487* and 8485)
Jeremiah 1:11-12:
11 The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?” “I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied.
12 The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.”
This maturing process of the almond tree and the task of the priesthood should help us to comprehend the character of Jesus Christ as our high priest, who has called us to follow Him by living as priests in our personal lives. With this virtue of bearing fruit in spring and rapid maturing, we can be more effective by applying the Word of God in trusting Him and His faithfulness.
Amen and Amen.
In His Wisdom,
Daniel Glimm