Crystal Writes A Blog

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Passing the Baton


Passing the Baton by Flickr User Carsten Senkfeil, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike

Passing the Baton by Flickr User Carsten Senkfeil, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike
Click image to open a new tab/window to view the original image and to access the user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

My husband and I have often talked about what Sam Walton might do if he were alive to see Wal-Mart these days. He started out with so many ideas for making his store stand out above the rest, and they weren’t all about being a super store. For one, he wanted to make sure his store carried “American-made” goods to support the country he loved. But what Sam started can barely be seen anymore as the store has cut corner after corner to almost forcibly draw in customers who don’t have the financial ability to shop where they want but instead shop where they feel they must.

In today’s reading from Numbers 20:22 through Numbers 21:5, we read about the passing of a baton of leadership and ministry as ordained by God. As the people arrive at Mt. Hor, God tells Moses and Aaron that Aaron is about to pass away because he cannot go into the promised land due to the disobedience involving the rock and the water. He has Moses and Eleazar take Aaron to the top of the mountain where Aaron dies and Moses takes his priestly garments and places them onto his son, Eleazar who will now be the high priest.

When Moses came down with Eleazar in the high priests garments, the people knew Aaron was dead and the whole house of Israel mourned for thirty days. A Canaanite King that lived in the Negev desert heard that Israel was approaching, and he attacked them. The Scripture doesn’t say if they were still in mourning, but it does say that all of Israel sought God to make things right. They promised God that if He would hand the people over to them, they would go in and completely destroy their cities. Both kept their vows, and Israel destroyed the Canaanites and all their cities and renamed the place Hormah meaning “total destruction.”

The people kept going forward but were forced to detour around Edom, so their tempers became short and they started throwing accusations around again. It was the same as before with complaining about the area, the food, etc., and saying how they wished they were back in Egypt again. It says they threw their accusations against both God and Moses. They couldn’t complain against Aaron now, and I guess Eleazar was off the hook–at least for now.

In most races, it seems the baton is passed about the way it is in the picture. The front-runner holds it behind him, and the follow-up runner is responsible for knowing where it is in order to grab it. If the front runner tried to turn around, he would likely stumble and possibly trip his follower, so he has to keep his view on the point in front of him while the follower keeps his view on the baton.

When Eleazar took the baton of the high priest, he had to know what all would be required from watching his father go before him, and he had to make that choice with full knowledge of the task he was undertaking. It’s very similar when we pass along the baton of salvation. It’s not so much what we say that matters because we can’t be running backwards either. We’ve got to be pressing toward the mark for our high calling in Yeshua and extending an invitation to all who would follow us toward Him. It is our actions in the race, the direction we’re running, and the prize we’re seeking that will speak louder than any message we can preach in words.

June 18, 2014 - Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , ,

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