Tag Archives: Aaron

Leviticus 6:8–8:36: God wants a relationship with you that responds and grows

Normally when God spoke to Moses and gave him an instruction, God said “tell,” “speak” or “instruct.” This time, God told Moses to “command” Aaron.

The relationship that God wants with you is a relationship that responds and grows. If we respond and grow, we are like a tree that will produce good fruit. If we don’t grow and respond, we won’t produce good fruit. The High Priest is supposed to encourage the relationship between God and His people produce good fruit for eternity.

When God commands one to do something, deviation from the instruction isn’t tolerated. The Torah reading צו Tzav (“command,” Lev. 6:8–8:36) includes detailed instructions on how the priests are to handle other people’s offerings, symbolizing their approach to God. The LORD told Aaron that doing this right matters, not just to the people, but to God.

Continue reading Leviticus 6:8–8:36: God wants a relationship with you that responds and grows

Exodus 30:11–34:35: Learning the Creator’s heart at the golden calf

 

There are lots of topics in this reading, some are related, some are off the wall. This parastatals is a hodgepodge of topics thrown together into one reading.

The two main topics we will discuss today are the census and how we use our rules, slap God’s name on them and end up making an idol of God rather than worshipping the true God, just as the people of Israel slapped God’s name onto a golden calf and worshipped it.

Census

“The LORD also spoke to Moses, saying, “When you take a census of the sons of Israel to number them, then each one of them shall give a ransom for himself to the LORD, when you number them, so that there will be no plague among them when you number them.” (Exodus 30:11–13 NASB)

The first question one might ask is “What does it matter if people are counted?” Why was it ok for Moses to count the people but David was sinning when doing the same thing? The difference is the purpose. There’s a difference between counting for one’s own use v. counting for God’s use.

David was warned by Joab not to count the people but he did it anyway. God punished David and the people of Israel with a three day plague, which killed a lot of people.

The spot where David made the sacrifice to stop the plague became the spot of the Temple.

The reason men count a population is for their own reasons: taxation, war, social engineering, redistribution of wealth, etc.

When God counts, an atonement is required, including a half-shekel and a “portion to the Lord.” The funds from this census was used to pay for the construction of the Tabernacle. God is counting what is His and atoning for them at the same time.

What is the Temple for Messiah Yeshua? The House of God which consists of people. Messiah Yeshua said that His body was an atonement for our sins and a temple of God? When Messiah died, His death made humanity clean. What was one dirty and sinful is clean and righteous.

Yeshua’s body which died for us covered our sins. The House of God was made by and made of His people. To build the House of God requires atonement. God requires that all of His people are cleansed, atoned and covered.

When each man put his half-shekel in the offering, he was throwing his lot with God. He was making sure that he would be counted as part of God’s house. What God is building includes every man, represented by the half-shekel and they were all acknowledging they need God’s atonement.

This was a way of acknowledging one’s citizenship in God’s kingdom.

Freedom in serving other people and keeping God’s law

There is no sin sacrifice on the Shabbat. There were sin sacrifices in all other holy days but not Shabbat. The Shabbat was a day set aside to learn about God. It was a sign forever and has nothing to do with one’s sins. When you come before God on Shabbat, it’s regardless of who you are or where you come from. No one cares about what you did the night before Shabbat. The function of Shabbat is to give you rest. It’s a rest, not just from work, but from the junk of your life that you have accumulated. It’s a day of peace. The Shabbat is a time to learn God’s laws in small chunks.

The priests worked every day, even on Shabbat. When was their day off?

“The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.” (Exodus 31:12–13 NASB)

God thought the Shabbat was so important that He commanded that the people refrain from working on Shabbat, even for those who were building His tabernacle. God took the day from His creation on Shabbat, but God hasn’t taken a day off since that first Shabbat. God is always working.

God still answers prayers, draws people to Him, even on Shabbat. He doesn’t take the day off from operation, but He did take a day off from building and creating. The Levites had to keep the Tabernacle running all the time.

The priests and Levites had a small reprieve from some of the work on Shabbat, but the tabernacle did not close its doors on Shabbat. They did not have to travel on Shabbat, they did not have to assemble and tear down the tabernacle on Shabbat.

“The scribes and the Pharisees were watching Him closely to see if He healed on the Sabbath, so that they might find reason to accuse Him.” (Luke 6:7 NASB)

“When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, “Do you wish to get well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.” Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk.

Now it was the Sabbath on that day.” (John 5:6–9 NASB)

Messiah Yeshua purposefully performed most of His healings on the Shabbat. That was not by accident. He had a reason for doing it that way. Service is freedom. Freedom is God’s words inscribed on our hearts. When we follow God’s words, we are free. Freedom from our sins and burdens. God’s words are freedom and the Levites are serving up this freedom to everyone who comes to the Tabernacle every day of the week, even on Shabbat. The Levite were working on Shabbat to free people from their sinful path.

The priests performed different offerings, including animals, grains, etc. Their officiating over the people’s offerings were a service. The priests services for the people were a way of inscribing God’s laws on the hearts of the people. Service on Shabbat facilitates freedom.

When Messiah told the man to take up his mat and walk, that man was showing the people who saw him walk away with his mat after 38 years of suffering that he was now free to do what he couldn’t do before.

When Messiah healed people on Shabbat, he gave those people freedom. They were now free to follow God. The 10 commandments are the laws of freedom.

Human laws are bondage and slavery. Sin is also bondage and slavery.

“But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:25 NASB)

When we have “authority” over others, we tend to wield it. That is human nature. When we work on Shabbat outside of serving God, we are serving the Adversary instead.

The Pharisees and Sadducees of Messiah Yeshua’s time used their interpretation of God’s laws to enslave the people to them rather than giving them freedom to serve God completely.

If you are working for your boss on Shabbat rather than freeing the ox from the ditch, that is bondage, not freedom.

We are all in the same boat, although we may be on different parts of the boat and learning different lessons about how the boat moves.

Golden Calf

There is a similarity between how Moses judged and punished the children of Israel for what happened with the Golden Calf and the test of a wife of a jealous husband. Just look

“It came about, as soon as Moses came near the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing; and Moses’ anger burned, and he threw the tablets from his hands and shattered them at the foot of the mountain. He took the calf which they had made and burned it with fire, and ground it to powder, and scattered it over the surface of the water and made the sons of Israel drink it.” (Exodus 32:19–20 NASB)

“Then the priest shall bring her near and have her stand before the LORD, and the priest shall take holy water in an earthenware vessel; and he shall take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle and put it into the water. ‘The priest shall then have the woman stand before the LORD and let the hair of the woman’s head go loose, and place the grain offering of memorial in her hands, which is the grain offering of jealousy, and in the hand of the priest is to be the water of bitterness that brings a curse. ‘The priest shall have her take an oath and shall say to the woman, “If no man has lain with you and if you have not gone astray into uncleanness, being under the authority of your husband, be immune to this water of bitterness that brings a curse; if you, however, have gone astray, being under the authority of your husband, and if you have defiled yourself and a man other than your husband has had intercourse with you” (then the priest shall have the woman swear with the oath of the curse, and the priest shall say to the woman), “the LORD make you a curse and an oath among your people by the LORD’S making your thigh waste away and your abdomen swell; and this water that brings a curse shall go into your stomach, and make your abdomen swell and your thigh waste away.” And the woman shall say, “Amen. Amen.”

‘The priest shall then write these curses on a scroll, and he shall wash them off into the water of bitterness. ‘Then he shall make the woman drink the water of bitterness that brings a curse, so that the water which brings a curse will go into her and cause bitterness. ‘The priest shall take the grain offering of jealousy from the woman’s hand, and he shall wave the grain offering before the LORD and bring it to the altar; and the priest shall take a handful of the grain offering as its memorial offering and offer it up in smoke on the altar, and afterward he shall make the woman drink the water.” (Numbers 5:16–26 NASB)

We have to know our boundaries and limits. Each person has their own. We are not to make our own gods but we all do this all the time. Anytime we say “I’m doing this even thought God really didn’t want me to do it this way…” we are now making our own God. We are claiming to follow the God who revealed Himself in the Bible but we redefine the God we are worshipping and moulding Him into our image if we do things He has said not to do while claiming we are actually following Him. When we slap His name on our own vision of Him, we are following a false God. We make our own gods many times. God doesn’t want us to slap His name on our own rules. That is how we make idols.

Numbers 12: Lift yourself up and be cast down

The overall lesson of Numbers 12 is not to lift yourself up above or at the expense of others. We are told in Numbers 12:3 that Moses was “…very humble, more than any man…” 

Moses was not a brave, audacious man. He had little confidence in himself, either when he killed the Egyptian or when God called him at the burning bush. He never considered himself better than anyone else. Aaron and Miriam, on the other hand, were not so humble.  

“Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married (for he had married a Cushite woman)….” (Numbers 12:1 NASB)

Moses’ Cushite’s wife was a symptom of a deeper grievance that Aaron and Miriam had against Moses. On the surface it seems that Miriam and Aaron were racists but as you read the chapter you see that God doesn’t address their criticism of Moses’ wife because she was just a symptom. God saw a deeper problem that needed to be addressed. 

The scriptures refer to Miriam in Ex. 15:20 as “Miriam the prophetess” obedient to her mother when she was a young girl. Miriam’s name in Hebrew — מִרְיָם Miryam (H4813)  — means “rebellious,”  from מְרִי m’riy (H4805, bitterness) and מָרָה marah (H4784, to make bitter).

“Indeed, I brought you up from the land of Egypt And ransomed you from the house of slavery, And I sent before you Moses, Aaron and Miriam.”(Micah 6:4 NASB)

The only time the Scriptures record a bad report about Miriam is in Numbers 12. 

“and they (Miriam and Aaron) said, “Has the LORD indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us as well?” And the LORD heard it” (Numbers 12:2 NASB)

As far as we can tell, Moses never heard Aaron and Miriam’s complaints about his new Cushite wife or their grumbling about his status in comparison to their own, but God heard it and He did not wait to render correction. 

“Suddenly the LORD said to Moses and Aaron and to Miriam, ‘You three come out to the tent of meeting.’ So the three of them came out.” (Numbers 12:4 NASB)

No one else was called to this meeting, except Moses, Aaron and Miriam. There was something God wanted Moses to hear. This will not be the last time Moses and Aaron faced an insurrection against their leadership.

What we have here is not your typical sibling rivalry. Moses was the youngest brother, who was taken from his family after he was weaned around two years old. There was a separation between Moses, Aaron and Miriam. Moses did not have the same type of sibling connection with Aaron and Miriam that Aaron and Miriam had with one another. 

Moses has no idea why God is calling this meeting. Why this meeting was called and why it was recorded is for our admonition. 

“He said, ‘Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, shall make Myself known to him in a vision. I shall speak with him in a dream. Not so, with My servant Moses, He is faithful in all My household; With him I speak mouth to mouth, Even openly, and not in dark sayings, And he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid To speak against My servant, against Moses?'” (Numbers 12:6–8 NASB)

Aaron and Miriam was not the first to receive dreams and visions. Abraham, Jacob and Joseph also received dreams and visions. But Moses didn’t receive revelations from God in dreams but “mouth to mouth, openly.”  The word “dark sayings” is the Hebrew word chidah (Strongs H2420) which literally means riddles. It’s refered to in Brown, Dryer Briggs as “riddle, enigmatic, perplexing saying or question.” 

God also said that He revealed His form to Moses. When did that happen? The second time Moses went up to Mt. Sinai to receive the commandments. 

“If then I have grace in your eyes, let me see your ways, so that I may have knowledge of you and be certain of your grace; and my prayer is that you will keep in mind that this nation is your people.” (Exodus 33:13 BBE)

“And the Lord went past before his eyes, saying, The Lord, the Lord, a God full of pity and grace, slow to wrath and great in mercy and faith; Having mercy on thousands, overlooking evil and wrongdoing and sin; he will not let wrongdoers go free, but will send punishment on children for the sins of their fathers, and on their children’s children to the third and fourth generation. Then Moses quickly went down on his face in worship.” (Exodus 34:6–8 BBE)

God tells them that He speaks to Moses directly but he speaks to Aaron and Miriam in riddles and parables. 

Moses is the picture of God and Aaron is a picture of the Son of God. Who is Miriam a picture of? She is a picture of all the tribes of Israel. She is a picture of the House of Israel. Moses was faithful to God’s house. 

“Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession; He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house. For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house ― whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.” (Hebrews 3:1–6 NASB)

God built the house, not Moses. God owns the house, not Moses. 

“But when the cloud had withdrawn from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow. As Aaron turned toward Miriam, behold, she was leprous. Then Aaron said to Moses, ‘Oh, my lord, I beg you, do not account this sin to us, in which we have acted foolishly and in which we have sinned.'” (Numbers 12:10–11 NASB)

Aaron’s heart was towards his sister and the first thing he did when he saw Miriam’s leprosy, was to repent. Aaron addressed Moses as “Adonai” and understood that even though Miriam was the one physically punished, he was punished too. 

Moses cried out in Miriam’s behalf too. Moses showed how faithful he was to God’s house by praying for Miriam’s healing and restoration.

“Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, “O God, heal her, I pray!”” (Numbers 12:13 NASB)

How did God respond? God didn’t kill her. He made it simple for Moses to understand. Miriam should be ashamed of what she has said. 

“But the LORD said to Moses, ‘If her father had but spit in her face, would she not bear her shame for seven days? Let her be shut up for seven days outside the camp, and afterward she may be received again.’ So Miriam was shut up outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on until Miriam was received again.” (Numbers 12:14–15 NASB)

This punishment affected everyone in the camp. They could not move until Miriam was healed. I think it is interesting that Yeshua’s mother was named Miriam, which I don’t believe is a coincidence. Yeshua was born into a nation of rebellious and stiff necked people. 

This isn’t the first time Aaron made a big mistake for which he was not punished. Aaron was also complicit in the incident with the golden calf yet Aaron received no known punishment for that. Aaron did not hesitate when the plague came to run head-long into the people with the incense to stop the plague.

How many times has Yeshua run into your life to save you from death? Many I’m sure. 

You will never read anything more bad said about Miriam from this point of the Bible forward. 

Reader: Jeff. Speaker: Richard Agee. Summary: Tammy. 

Leviticus 10: Two priests die in the line of Temple duty

Richard AgeeWe explore the “strange fire” or “foreign fire” offered by two priests in Leviticus 10 that got God so angry He incinerated both immediately. Was this capricious, or was the Author of Life teaching something fundamental through these deaths?

Continue reading Leviticus 10: Two priests die in the line of Temple duty

Leviticus 8-9: God ordains the Tabernacle and priesthood of Israel

Richard AgeeGod, through Moshe (Moses), consecrates His mediator, Aharon (Aaron). There is a clear transfer of spiritual authority from Moshe to Aharon at this point. This is a foreshadowing of God’s consecration of Yeshua, our Messiah as our High Priest, who had to walk a sacrificial walk for us that we could hear, do and walk in God’s word as He does. After Moshe consecrated Aharon and his sons, there was no longer any doubt as to how God has chosen to be the mediator between Himself and His people. 

Continue reading Leviticus 8-9: God ordains the Tabernacle and priesthood of Israel

Exodus: From dwelling in bondage to dwelling with God

Richard AgeeExodus 1 starts with Yosef (Joseph), the servant of the Pharaoh that a future Pharaoh either accidentally or on purpose chose to forget. Pharaoh did not want to remember Yosef’s actions because he would have to admit that his office as Pharaoh was strengthened by Yosef’s actions many generations before.

This account is not just about a wicked king but the story of how the God of Israel began to fulfill the prophesy he gave to Abraham.

This book, as all the Bible, is about the actions of the Creator, not just the actions of Abraham, Yitskhak (Isaac), Ya’akov (Jacob), Yosef or Moshe (Moses).

Continue reading Exodus: From dwelling in bondage to dwelling with God

Exodus 17: Journey to the 10: Wilderness of Sin to Massah and Meribah; Amalek terrorized Israel

Richard AgeeThe territory of סִין Sin — a place-name, not the term for moral malady — that Israel transversed after leaving Mitsraim (Egypt) was a very large place. It’s in the area where Mt. Sinai is located.

Continue reading Exodus 17: Journey to the 10: Wilderness of Sin to Massah and Meribah; Amalek terrorized Israel