Numbers 17

Talks for Growing Christians

The Validation of the Aaronic Priesthood

Number 17

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Lesson Number 22

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God’s leaders are divinely chosen for the congregation.
  2. God’s leaders should be recognized by the congregation.

Practical Application

  1. Let’s be triple-B believers.


  1. Review what happened in the previous chapter, Numbers 16.
  2. What was the purpose of the activities in Numbers 17?
  3. What three items were kept in the Ark of the Covenant?
  4. Review how God revealed that Aaron was divinely chosen for priesthood.
  5. What was the people’s response when they saw Aaron’s rod that budded?
  6. What does it mean to be a triple-B believer?


  1. The last chapter recorded the rebellion of Korah. Korah and his followers did not respect Moses’ leadership and did not recognized Aaron’s priesthood. They were not satisfied being Levites; they wanted to be priests. The Lord punished these rebels with an earthquake and fire.
  2. God shows that Aaron was indeed the high priest, and the priesthood would come through his line, by divine appointment.
  3. Tablets containing the Law, a pot full of manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded
  4. Moses gathered twelve rods from the leaders of the tribes of Israel. Aaron’s rod represented the tribe of Levi. Moses placed these rods before the Lord in the tabernacle. God showed which leader He had chosen by causing that man’s rod to come to life and bear fruit. Aaron’s rod was the only rod that budded.
  5. They recognized that God had appointed Aaron to the high priesthood. They feared for their lives, because they had previously questioned God’s chosen leadership.
  6. This principle is based on what happened to Aaron’s rod- it budded, blossomed, and bore fruit. This was a spiritual picture of the believer with new life in Christ (Ephesians 2:1). We are to bear spiritual fruit, the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5).


  1. God appointed the spiritual leaders in the nation of Israel. He continues to make spiritual leaders in His Church today. In Acts 20:28, Paul told the elders of the church of Ephesus that the Holy Spirit had made them overseers. God made them spiritual leaders; it was up to the church to recognize them as such. Discuss how we are to recognize God’s chosen leaders in the church today.


  1. Hebrews 13:17 exhorts us to obey those who rule over us, so that they can do their job with joy and not with grief. Are you making your elders joyful, or are you causing contentions and arguments that are grievous to them?

Key Verses

  • “And it shall be that the rod of the man whom I choose will blossom; thus I will rid Myself of the complaints of the children of Israel.” Numbers 17:5
  • Numbers 17:5 “The rod of Aaron, of the house of Levi, had sprouted and put forth buds, had produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds.” Numbers 17:8
  • “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.” Hebrews 13:17

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