This is a simplified version of the Bible story found in Numbers 17, written for children to understand. For the original version, please refer to the Bible passage.
God wanted to show to the Israelites that He had chosen Aaron as the leader of the priestly tribe of Levi and that Aaron had His favor and blessing because they are still complaining and doubting God’s plan. They even expressed a desire to go back to Egypt despite the harsh slavery they had endured there.
So one day, God spoke to Moses and said, “Go get one stick from the leader of each family in Israel. Make sure there are twelve sticks in total, and write each leader’s name on their stick. Write Aaron’s name on the stick for the family of Levi.” Then, Moses collected all the sticks and put them in the special meeting tent where he talked to God. God said that the stick of the person He chooses will sprout and grow leaves and flowers and fruit, and this will stop the Israelites from complaining.
The next day, Moses went back to the tent and saw that Aaron’s stick, the one from the family of Levi, had indeed grown leaves, flowers, and ripe almonds! Moses showed all the sticks to the people of Israel, and each leader took their own stick. God then told Moses to put Aaron’s stick back in the tent as a reminder for the people who like to complain, so they will stop complaining or else they might die. Moses followed God’s instructions, and Aaron’s stick stayed in the tent.
The people of Israel saw the amazing thing that happened and said, “We’re doomed! Anyone who goes near God’s tent will die!” But Moses reminded them that if they listened to God and stopped complaining, they would be okay.
- God can perform miracles to show His power and might.
- Complaining and grumbling can be a sign of lack of faith and trust in God.
- God’s chosen leaders will be confirmed and supported by His power and authority.
The Sabbath Year and the Year of Jubilee