Standing Between the Living and the Dead

In Numbers 16, the Israelites are grumbling against Moses and Aaron – again.  The chapter starts with outright disobedience among some of the priests.  “Who do Moses and Aaron think they are, to set themselves above us?” they say.  God opens up the earth which swallows these disobedient men and their families.  But the next day, the Israelite people are again complaining.  They tell Moses and Aaron, “You killed God’s people.”

God is fed up.  He has led the people through so much but they still grumble and complain.  You think they would learn to be obedient, but they remain just as stubborn, selfish, and self-righteous as ever.  God tells Moses and Aaron to step back because he is going to kill all the Israelites and start over.  A plague starts at one end of the Israelite camp and people are dropping like flies.

But Aaron does something unexpected.  He grabs the censer, which contains the holy aroma, pleasing to God.  Then he runs into the midst of the people.  When the plague gets to where Aaron holds the censer, it stops.  So Aaron stands between the living and the dead and stops the plague.

Today we have a plague of a different sort.  The coronavirus is striking people all over the world.  While most recover, some are dying.  And they aren’t dying because of their disobedience to God.  Coronavirus doesn’t care whether you are disobedient or obedient to God.  The pandemic is worldwide and will kill thousands before it is through.

Fortunately, we do not have to rely on human leaders to stand between us and death.  We are always facing death – not just when the coronavirus strikes.  But Jesus Christ stands between us and death.  We are told, in the Bible, that if we believe in Jesus Christ and accept him as our savior, we will not die but have everlasting life.  John 3:16:  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”