13 staves go in the holy of holies over night - one from each tribe's leader, and Aaron's. In the morning, only Aaron's staff has budded, blossomed and produced almonds. The people despair that they can never approach God because of their sin.
God speaks to Aaron. His family and all Levites are to guard the tabernacle. Priests get the people's sacrifices that don't go to God. Levites get the tithes. Both need to tithe on what they receive, to God.
Once you are ritually unclean from touching a dead body, you need to be twice sprinkled with water mixed with ashes from a red heifer sacrificed at the tabernacle - once on the third day after, and once on the 7th day after.
How this is about Jesus
- God gave many miracles to show that Jesus was His chosen Messiah and beloved Son.
- As the son, Jesus is greater than the servants in the house, the Levites. They were a type of (a pointer to) the Son, as they were taken instead of all the firstborn sons in Israel.
- We are washed clean by Jesus on the inside (Hebrews 10:19-22).
- Notice the people's despair in 17:12-13. This is the danger of true repentance and conviction. When we see our sin for what it is, we realize we are undone. If we don't look beyond ourselves, we will despair.
- Do what you can to respect and encourage church leaders, instead of criticizing or tearing them down.
- Sin requires spiritual cleansing: repentance, receiving forgiveness, restitution