When we make mistakes, it’s easy to forget who we are in Christ. The more mistakes we make, the more we might think that we are further from God than when we started. If we’re not careful to trust in the Lord and lean on him, we can get discouraged and stop doing what God has called us to do. When we realize we’ve made mistakes, we become acutely aware of them, and they can bother us like gnats swarming the face. However, if other people point out those mistakes, then everything can fall apart if we give up our confidence in the Lord. 

As Christians, we are called to be discerning in all things. Especially when we listen to people such as pastors and ministers. Those who are teachers of the word. When Jesus was warning his disciples about false prophets and teachers, he told them they would recognize them by their fruit.

By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

Matthew 7:16 (NIV)

When I was reading Numbers today, I thought about fruit and the many labors of the servant of God. What stood out to me were these two verses.

“The staff belonging to the man I choose will sprout, and I will rid myself of this constant grumbling against you by the Israelites.”

Numbers 17:5 (NIV)

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.

Numbers 17:8 (NIV)

For some time, the Israelites complained every time hardship came upon them. They wanted new leaders and thought they should return to Egypt. Even Korah’s rebellion was a byproduct of the Israelite’s dissatisfaction with their leadership. While Moses was the man God had chosen to lead and guide the people in many ways, Aaron was the head of the priesthood, and it was his responsibility to make atonement for the people (cf. Exodus 30:10). 

Let’s take a look at Aaron’s track record and the “fruit” of his life up to Numbers 17:5. 

He said to Aaron, “What did these people do to you, that you led them into such great sin?” “Do not be angry, my lord,” Aaron answered. “You know how prone these people are to evil. They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.’ So I told them, ‘Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.’ Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!”

Exodus 32:21-24 (NIV)

We’re familiar with the incident involving the golden calf, and Aaron’s part it in. Aaron and Hur had been left in charge, and Aaron dropped the ball. He gave into the people’s idolatry, and because of this, the Lord struck the people with a plague (cf Exodus 32:35). We know that 3,000 people were put to the sword by the Levites because of this incident. In addition, we have Paul’s statements in 1 Corinthians that indicate 23,000 people died from the plague.

Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.” We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died.

1 Corinthians 10:7-8 (NIV)

Sometimes people look at our children and their actions and ascribe their behavior to their parents. We could blame Aaron for his two sons Nadab and Abihu, and their offering strange fire to the Lord resulting in their deaths (cf. Leviticus 10:1-2). 

When Aaron’s sister Miriam grumbled against Moses, Aaron took her side and stood against Moses (cf. Numbers 12:1). 

Overall, when we think about Aaron and the fruit we’ve seen in his life up to Numbers 17:5, we might say he wasn’t worthy to be the spiritual leader of the Israelites. Are the deaths of 26,000 people good fruit? Teachers and leaders today are condemned for far less. 

What does God say about Aaron?

“The staff belonging to the man I choose will sprout, and I will rid myself of this constant grumbling against you by the Israelites.”

Numbers 17:5 (NIV)

The man whose staff sprouts is the man God has chosen. What happens to Aaron’s staff?

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.

Numbers 17:8 (NIV)

Was God wrong? Were we right in thinking Aaron wasn’t worthy of being the spiritual leader of the Israelites? We could say a lot about Aaron’s staff and the fruit it produced. I see it as evidence of God’s favor on Aaron. 

We don’t get much insight into Aaron’s thoughts in the Bible. However, I can’t imagine that he’d have been happy with his bad choices. Other people wanting other leaders probably wouldn’t have been much of an encouragement either. If Aaron had been around today and showed the same errors in judgment. He’d be condemned as unworthy. Some might even question his commitment to God. It’s unlikely he’d have ever made it to the point of seeing the staff bloom and produce fruit.

If we are earnestly following God, then we too, cannot focus on the bad choices we’ve made in this life and think we aren’t qualified to serve the Lord. We must remember that it’s God who qualifies us, and it is he who prepares those he has called. It’s not us, nor anyone else who might point a finger at us and tell us we are unworthy. 

Do you know God? God knows you, and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away. 

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart, and I receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.