Aaron's Rod that Budded

Scripture Passage: 
Numbers 17:1-13

INTRODUCTION: The timing of this event is a glorious picture of God’s work in the history of mankind. This lesson occurs after a series of sinful events on the part of the people of God. The people are found complaining and lusting (Numbers 11), Miriam and Aaron get caught up in the murmuring (Numbers 12), the spies deliver an evil report (Numbers 13), they fail to enter the land (Numbers 14), and Korah rebels (Numbers 16).

So what does the Lord do to follow the failures of mankind? He follows with several glorious pictures of His Son, Jesus Christ. The rod of Aaron is one in a series of events that shows us that the only reconciliation for the sins of mankind is found in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  1. GOD’S INSTRUCTIONS CONCERNING THE RODS (Numbers 17:1-5)
    1. Rods in Scripture
      1. Explanation
        1. The rod was probably much like a walking stick.
        2. It would have also been used as a shepherd’s staff or a weapon.
      2. Symbolism
        1. A symbol or authority and power (Exodus 4:20; Exodus 7:9-12)
        2. A symbol of judgment (Psalm 2:9; Proverbs 10:13)
        3. Related to a scepter (Ezekiel 19:14)
    2. According to the House of Their Fathers (Numbers 17:2)
      1. Determined by genealogy
      2. The genealogy of Christ (Matthew 1:1; Luke 1:26-33)
    3. Rods Bore the Name of the Men (Numbers 17:2-3).
      1. Write the name of each man upon his rod.
      2. Write Aaron’s name upon the rod of Levi.
    4. A Rod To Be Chosen by God (Numbers 17:4-5)
      1. Lay the rods in the presence of God.
      2. The man’s rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom.
  2. LAID UP BEFORE THE LORD (Numbers 17:6-7)
    1. Placed Overnight in the Tabernacle
    2. Christ Was Laid in the Tomb (Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57-60).
  3. ENABLED TO BRING FORTH FRUIT (Numbers 17:8)
    1. The Three Stages of Fruit
      1. Buds
      2. Blossoms
      3. Almonds – Fruit
    2. The Typology of the Almond Tree
      1. Physical description
        1. First tree to bloom in the spring
        2. Has beautiful blossoms similar to peach tree blossoms
        3. Yields fruit about ten weeks after it blossoms
        4. Produces two types of nuts: sweet and bitter
      2. Biblical usage
        1. Occurs ten times in the Bible
        2. First occurrence (Genesis 43:11): among the best of fruits
        3. Last occurrence (Jeremiah 1:11-12): speedy fulfillment of God’s word
      3. Biblical typology
        1. Pictures God’s speedy execution of His will after a time of quiet and apparent inactivity
        2. General typology
          1. Fruitfulness (the result, product or consequence of any action)
          2. Hastening (will be fulfilled quickly)
          3. Suddenness (fulfilled at a time unexpected)
      4. The almond in Biblical usage
        1. When God produces light (Exodus 25:31-34; Exodus 37:17-22)
        2. When God confirms His work (Numbers 17:1-10)
        3. When God executes judgment (Ecclesiastes 12:1, 5; Jeremiah 1:9-12)
    3. A Type of the Resurrected Christ – as the Firstfruits (John 14:19; 1 Corinthians 15:20-23)
  4. A TESTIMONY OF GOD’S APPROVAL (Numbers 17:9-11)
    1. The Rods Returned to the Owners (Numbers 17:9)
    2. Aaron’s Rod Kept as a Testimony (Numbers 17:10)
      1. Aaron’s rod kept in the ark
      2. The contents of the ark
        1. Manna
        2. Tables of stone
        3. Aaron’s rod
    3. Protection of the People (Numbers 17:10)
  5. A TESTIMONY OF GOD’S JUDGMENT (Numbers 17:10-13)
    1. A Token against the Rebels (Numbers 17:10-11)
    2. The Fear of the People (Numbers 17:12-13)
  6. THE TYPOLOGY OF THE ROD
    1. The Makeup of the Rod
      1. Aaron’s Rod
        1. Aaron’s rod was wooden.
        2. Aaron’s rod had been crafted to be such.
      2. Jesus Christ
        1. The wood symbolizes humanity.  Jesus Christ was a man.
        2. God the Father prepared a body in which His Son would live (Hebrews 10:5).
    2. The Rod Had Life.
      1. Aaron’s rod
        1. This rod had at one time been a part of a living tree.
        2. This rod had been cut down.
      2. Jesus Christ
        1. Jesus Christ was a living branch (Isaiah 11:1; Isaiah 53:2).
        2. The Lord Jesus was crucified (Isaiah 53:8).
    3. The Rod Was Dead.
      1. Aaron’s rod
        1. Aaron’s rod was nothing more than a dead piece of wood.
        2. Aaron’s rod was laid in the presence of the Lord with other dead rods.
        3. Aaron’s rod was out of the site of the people.
      2. Jesus Christ
        1. Jesus Christ was dead and was buried with the wicked (Isaiah 53:9).
        2. Jesus Christ was out of the sight of the people for three days and three nights but was very much alive and working.
    4. The Rod Became Alive Again.
      1. Aaron’s rod
        1. Aaron’s rod though dead received life again in the presence of God.
        2. Aaron’s rod in this time of darkness was bringing forth buds, blossoms and almonds.
      2. Jesus Christ
        1. Jesus Christ was raised to life again. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit each had a part in this.
        2. In the apparent absence of Christ, He was bringing forth fruit. He did so not only with those in Abraham’s bosom, but also with all of those who should trust in Him for everlasting life as well.
    5. The Rod Declared the Identity of the Priest.
      1. Aaron’s rod
        1. Though the Lord had already chosen Aaron as His high priest, the budding of the rod settled the dispute openly.
        2. Aaron’s rod was presented before the people as were the other rods.
        3. Only Aaron’s rod had received life from the dead.
      2. Jesus Christ
        1. Though God the Father had already declared the Son as His Beloved, the resurrection settled the dispute openly (Colossians 2:15; Acts 10:40).
        2. The resurrection of Christ
          1. Loosed the pains of death (Acts 2:23-24)
          2. Brought us justification (Romans 4:25; Romans 5:9)
          3. Gave us access to the Father (Ephesians 2:18; 1 Timothy 2:5)
          4. Enabled us to receive an inheritance (1 Peter 1:3-4)
          5. Qualified Him to be Judge (Romans 14:9)
        3. The Lord Jesus was presented on earth to the people (Acts 1:3-4).
        4. Consider all of the dead rods who receive the worship of men, yet only Christ has risen from the dead.
    6. The Rod Was Placed Again in the Presence of the Lord.
      1. Aaron’s rod
        1. Aaron’s rod after being presented to the people was then returned to the presence of God.
        2. This was a testimony to the people that Aaron was the Priest.
      2. Jesus Christ
        1. After Christ presented Himself to the people, He returned to the presence of the Father.
        2. This places Him as the mediator between God and man. He is the one seated on the right hand of the Father and has all authority (1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 10:12; 1 Peter 3:22).

CONCLUSION: Christ, as the Rod of God, is the eternal source of 1) power; 2) punishment; 3) protection.  We must look to Him for all things.

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 18:8

The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.