And they journeyed from Kadesh, and the people of Israel, the whole congregation, came to Mount Hor. And the Lordsaid to Moses and Aaron at Mount Hor, on the border of the land of Edom, “Let Aaron be gathered to his people, for he shall not enter the land that I have given to the people of Israel, because you rebelled against my command at the waters of Meribah. Take Aaron and Eleazar his son and bring them up to Mount Hor. And strip Aaron of his garments and put them on Eleazar his son. And Aaron shall be gathered to his people and shall die there.” Moses did as the Lordcommanded. And they went up Mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation. And Moses stripped Aaron of his garments and put them on Eleazar his son. And Aaron died there on the top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. And when all the congregation saw that Aaron had perished, all the house of Israel wept for Aaron thirty days. Numbers 20:22-29, ESV.
Aaron is to go up the mountain and die. His death is part of the consequence of Moses’s sin of striking the rock. Surely this is a time of great sorrow for Moses and Israel. Sin and death are brought together in very tangible ways in the death of this leader.
Nonetheless, I would encourage you to consider the grace and hope that fills this otherwise sad passage. Amid all the sorrow brought on by sin, the man of God will still be gathered to his people. These are words of eternal hope spoken only of the righteous in the Old Testament. Also, before he dies, God allows Aaron to pass his ministry to his son. Aaron is privileged to witness the legacy of his ministry. Finally, God allows Israel time to grieve the loss of this servant. He does not just move them on further into the wilderness.
Even in what seems the darkest of hours, God shines His grace and mercy on His people. Whatever your circumstance this morning, I pray that they will shine upon you and that you will be able to appreciate God’s kindness.