There was a great classic movie called Cool Hand Luke. In the movie, Steve McQueen was a prisoner that acted as escape artist. He drove the prison warden crazy. As McQueen would be recaptured, the punishments would become more severe. The warden, as he issued the punishment, would say these classic words, “What we have, here, is a failure to communicate.” Such was the case with God, Moses and the children of Israel.
God set Moses as the leader of the people. God set Aaron, Moses brother, as the head of the Levites who were the spiritual leaders of the people. Well, after the people rebelled against these men and God, many died. So now, to end the unrest, God told the people to designate a leader from each tribe, and put the leaders name on a staff. God then had the staffs brought to Him, in the Tabernacle, and He told them he would make the staff of His leader sprout! Pretty clear assignment; and a pretty clear sign from God.
God told them that He would choose so that people would quit rebelling and then have to be punished and or die. Seemed like a clear message. So Aaron’s staff budded, sprouted and produced almonds. No other staff did anything. Aaron was God’s clear choice–end of discussion. So the people’s response was a clear “Failure to communicate”! They came to Moses and cried, “We are lost now, are we going to die?”
Really? God just said–“I will choose; so no one else has to die!”…What they had there was a failure to communicate. God loved His people. He wanted to lead them, bless them and simply make them the greatest nation on earth. They simply could not understand. So, they continued to miss the point.
In our lives, God wants the same. He wants to lead us, guide us, and prepare us for eternity. All God asks in exchange, is for us to allow Him to lead us and have a relationship with us. We are constantly looking for the other answer. Like the Israelites we miss the point–God always wants to mold us, bless us and make us the best we can be. It is sometimes very difficult training, but, if we will simply trust Him, we will be blessed. Seems reasonable to me!
God Bless You
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.
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.
12 The Israelites said to Moses, “We will die! We are lost, we are all lost! 13 Anyone who even comes near the tabernacle of the Lord will die. Are we all going to die?”