Scripture: “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Tell Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, to pick up the censers out of the blaze, for they are holy, and scatter the fire some distance away. The censers of these men who sinned against their own souls, let them be made into hammered plates as a covering for the altar. Because they presented them before the Lord, therefore they are holy; and they shall be a sign to the children of Israel.” So Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers, which those who were burned up had presented, and they were hammered out as a covering on the altar, to be a memorial to the children of Israel that no outsider, who is not a descendant of Aaron, should come near to offer incense before the Lord, that he might not become like Korah and his companions, just as the Lord had said to him through Moses. On the next day all the congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, saying, “You have killed the people of the Lord.” Now it happened, when the congregation had gathered against Moses and Aaron, that they turned toward the tabernacle of meeting; and suddenly the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord appeared. Then Moses and Aaron came before the tabernacle of meeting. And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Get away from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.” And they fell on their faces. So Moses said to Aaron, “Take a censer and put fire in it from the altar, put incense on it, and take it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them; for wrath has gone out from the Lord. The plague has begun.” Then Aaron took it as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the assembly; and already the plague had begun among the people. So he put in the incense and made atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living; so the plague was stopped. Now those who died in the plague were fourteen thousand seven hundred, besides those who died in the Korah incident. So Aaron returned to Moses at the door of the tabernacle of meeting, for the plague had stopped.” Numbers 16:36-50 NKJV https://bible.com/bible/114/num.16.36-50.NKJV
• The incense censers of the rebels to been turned into a covering for the altar, a memorial sign to the people
• The separation of the priesthood and the congregation under the Old Covenant
• The very next day! The congregation complained again. Notice they are called the CHILDREN of Israel.
• The Lord is righteously angry and once again Moses and Aaron intercede foreshadowing Christ’s ministry for all Believers
• Aaron moves quickly with a censer (same instrument the rebels used) however used in the right office, it became an instrument of atonement and stayed the plague
• Aaron stood between the dead and the living in Atonement. That is rich with significance!
• The accounting detail is mentioned, 14,700 did in the plague in addition to the 250+ in Korah’s rebellion
The Holiness of the Lord demands separation from wickedness. Rather than acting in childlike faith and obedience, the people, much like us too often, respond rather in selfish childishness and complaining. The Lord, the Heavenly Father of His people, is justly angry and begins discipline His wayward children. While fully deserving of death, it is Moses and Aaron who interceded and specifically Aaron, the High Priest, who runs to atone for the people’s sin. He ends up standing dividing the living and the dead. Our Savior Jesus does the same today. He stands making atonement and those on His side are atoned for and saved from death; those opposite Him are dead in trespasses and sins eternally.
Prayer: pray the passage and how the Holy Spirit has convicted you back to the Lord. Ask Him to do in You what His Word teaches.
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