In this week's portion, we are introduced to Korach of the tribe of Levi, who instigates rebellion against Moshe and Aharon. Along with his cohorts, Dathan and Abiram, Korach ultimately leads more than 14,950 people to their deaths before all is said and done. In order to finally quash this rebellion, HaShem commands that a fascinating procedure be implemented which still speaks to us today.
In B'midbar 17:1-11 (17:16-26 CJB), HaShem commands that each man who is the head of his tribe in Yisrael bring a rod to put in the Mishkan before the Ark of witness (verse 4, verse 19 CJB). Each one was to inscribe his name on his rod, and the rod representing the tribe that HaShem would choose would blossom. Thus, the rebellion would be put down once and for all. We are all familiar with what happened. On the next morning, each head of each tribe claimed his rod, and Aharon's rod, representing Levi, was the one that blossomed. Interestingly, though, it did not just blossom, it brought forth leaves, flowers, and almonds. It both blossomed and it brought forth fruit (verse 8, verse 23 CJB). I find this exciting because Aharon's fruitful rod teaches us a lesson which clears up a lot of confusion.
In our chaotic world today, it is all too common to see a congregation split or a ministry fragment, and those who haven't taken sides are left to wonder who is right and who is wrong. Inevitably, the fragmenting of a congregation or ministry is the result of someone's rebellion. Either those who break away from their main congregation are in rebellion, or the main congregation is in rebellion against G-d's Word, forcing those who seek righteousness to flee such a situation. Personally, I have discovered that, like Aharon's fruitful rod, the group seeking to follow HaShem and His messiah will blossom and bring forth fruit. Consequently, the group in rebellion will not prosper, but the same rebelliousness that formed it will disintegrate it. Notice that Aharon's rod did not bring forth money, prestige, or seminary degrees. Rather, it brought forth living fruit that would remain. So it will be with the congregation or ministry that seeks to follow G-d and walk in His ways. By using the discernment the Ruach HaKodesh gives us, we can apply this principle to any dispute in which we find ourselves. However, we must exercise patience as we wait to see whose proverbial rod will blossom and bring forth fruit. As it is written: "There is nothing covered up that will not be uncovered, or hidden that will not become known. What you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops." (Luke 12:2-3