Summary: Aaron stood between the living and the dead to stop the plague of death that swept through the rebellious camp of Israel. Rebellion against God's authority brings death. Jesus is our Mediator today, standing between the living and the dead as the only w
Standing Between the Living and the Dead
By Rev. James May
Numbers 16:48, "And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed."
Rebellion is a strong word that has a powerful effect upon the heart and soul of man. Rebellion, when you break it down, appears to sound like it’s a “Rebel – Lion”, and to me that gives a pretty good picture of what rebellion is really all about. It’s someone with the heart that is filled with the pride of a lion, thinking of himself alone, and who will fight and bring violence against anything or anyone who infringes upon his right to roar. As a lion is called the king of the jungle for his ferocity and power to kill, so are most people on the face of the earth, for each of us tends to think of themselves as the king of their own domain.
Whether we are talking about man in the beginning of time; or man in this present hour, there is a common ground that we all stand upon; and that ground is the place of rebellion. Adam stood in that place while in the Garden of Eden and became a “Rebel” against the commandment of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, defying the Word of his Creator and declaring that he would not live under the Law of his God.
Modern man does the same thing. He declares, either by word or deed, that he will not bend his knee, nor bow his head, nor reverence and fear the God of all Creation. A quick look at the news of our day will show the defiance in the hearts of men against God Almighty. The human race is so filled with pride and selfishness that the heart still drives mankind to be a Rebel against the Lion of Judah, and very few are willing to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!
Even in the very House of God, among His own Adopted Children, there is often a spirit of rebellion; rebellion against the Word that convicts for sin; rebellion against authority that is ordained by God and rebellion against anything or anyone who tends to try to change us to become anything other than what we already believe is good enough.
There is a story in the Book of Numbers, Chapter 16, concerning the Children of Israel in their march through the wilderness under the leadership of Moses. Though God had wrought miracle after miracle in their deliverance from Egyptian bondage, yet the Children of Israel continually found themselves in a state of rebellion against the leadership that God had placed over them, and indeed against the God that had delivered them.
Understand this; God had already brought them out of bondage; and that bondage in Egypt is a type, a representation in Old Testament form, of the pit of miry clay called sin that every one of us was born in. When each new generation was born in Egypt, they didn’t have to be made slaves; they were born slaves and had no power to deliver themselves from the iron fist of Pharaoh. They needed a Savior and Deliverer; someone who would step up and call down the power of God to deliver them. Of course we know that the man who God called to do just that was Moses, and Moses was given a voice, someone who would speak for him, his own brother whose name was Aaron.
It is often said that Moses is a type of Christ as that deliverer of the church and that Aaron, Moses brother and spokesman is a type of the Holy Spirit that speaks to us and leads us to follow Jesus.
Let’s fast forward in the journey of the Israelites and remember that they made it all the way to the Jordan River, the very boundary of the Promised Land that God had given to Abraham, and it was described in the Bible as “a land that flowed with milk and honey”. Their Promised Land had everything in it that they would have ever needed to be a powerful, happy, prosperous and godly nation. But nothing comes from God without a living, active faith; and faith is something that the Children of Israel showed a lack of at every turn. Here, at the very brink of great victory and the fulfillment of the promises of God, their faith failed and they were turned back into the wilderness to wander another 40 years. A whole generation of faithless Children of God perished in the wilderness and never obtained the promises of God because they refused to believe God would fulfill His word to them.
I wonder how many generations of Gentiles, your ancestors and mine, failed that test of faith? How many failed to see the Promised Land; failed to trust God to give them the desires of their hearts; failed to believe that in Jesus there was provision for the body, water for the soul and life forevermore? How many times have we, right here this day, come to the brink of the river, tried to look over on the other side, and could not see any way that God would give us the life we wanted? All we saw were the giants in the Land; obstacles too big; people who had more power to drag us down than we could handle; persecution from friends and neighbors that we considered greater than the promises of the Almighty God!