Aaron Stops the Plague, that is, the Wrath of God

This meditation is based on a passage for June 23, 2010 in the Daily Lectionary Year 2 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).

Text: Numbers 16:36-50

Reflection and Question: This is the kind of passage that truly makes the lectionary a joy. Without it, it’s likely that we would not choose to read or remember this story. Prior to these verses, Koran has led a rebellion that fails as God swallows him up in wrath. When the people complain about this, God brings on a plague, which is halted by Aaron’s ritual atonement. In both of these stories in Numbers 16, God’s anger is arrested by the request of Moses and Aaron. Clearly chosen by God, Moses and Aaron use their power with God to avoid destruction of the people. What is your reaction to God’s behavior in this story?

Prayer: Holy Jesus, we pause in awe at the power of God whom You called Father. We tremble at Your courage to know God in such an intimate way. Thank You for interceding for us as Moses and Aaron do here so that we know God’s love. Amen.