One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Tuesday, March 12, 2013: Numbers 16:41-18:32
47 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. 48 And he stood between the dead and the living; so the plague was stopped. Numbers 16:47-48 (NKJV)
The plague had broken out. The rebellion of Korah had gone out among the children of Israel like a deadly virus. Now God's wrath was released and a plague sprang up and spread like wildfire flowing through a field.
In a moment, Moses commissioned his brother Aaron to take up a censor which held the fire of God. He sent Aaron to run toward the plague swinging the censor. Scripture says that Aaron "stood between the dead and the living." And the plague was stopped.
This is a dramatic story. It is parable for our times. Today a plague has broken out. Our world is infected with a virus more deadly than HIV or Ebola. It is the SIN virus. The affects of this virus grow daily as we witness a society ravaged by school shootings, broken families, sexual perversion, and addictions without end. The wildfire seems to be burning up our fields, our families, our children, and our future.
So what shall we do? Moses and Aaron stood watching the unfolding disaster. They had a choice to make -- and we do, too. The Church today can exist as an enclave of safety in the midst of the world gone crazy. We can retreat and watch as the fire continues to spread. Moses and Aaron could have done that. They could have figured that people were just getting what they had coming to them. Instead, Moses commissioned Aaron to run toward the plague.
Aaron was not a young man any more. Most commentators say that he was perhaps 100 years old. So, here's the picture of an old man not just walking but RUNNING toward the danger of a deadly plague that was ravaging the world in which he lived.
But, Aaron carried a censor. He was the dispenser of the one and only cure that could deliver and heal. We, too, have heard the voice not of Moses, but of Jesus, and He has sent us to run toward the plague. We, too, carry the one and only cure for the plague of our time. We carry and deliver the good news of the power of the Blood of Jesus. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only force that can stop the destruction that runs through our streets.
This is a call from God. Will we stay in the safety of our holy huddle, or will we run toward the plague? Will we hide behind our walls to rest on our blessed assurance, or will we rise to the call to rescue the perishing?
As Aaron ran down among the people, it was like another parting of the Red Sea. To the left there were men and women falling and dying. To the right, healing was going forth. At some point, Aaron stopped and stood. He stood between the dead and the living.
So where are you today? Are you up on the hill watching the disaster, or are you standing down among the people holding in your hand the Good News of deliverance? God is calling the Church in our day to no longer remain detached in our ivory towers of religious seclusion, but instead to RUN TOWARD THE PLAGUE. And, for sure, our God goes before us!