What is the significance of Manna in a gold jar, and Aaron’s staff that they would be put in the Ark with the Tablets?
As to why certain things were in, or even around the Ark, we can only make a few Scriptural comparisons and applications. Hebrews 9:1-5 tells us, “Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the showbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; OF WHICH WE CANNOT NOW SPEAK PARTICULARLY.”
I am not sure why the manna was in a golden pot, but everything close to God’s presence is seen as gold or overlaid with gold. It is the finest of metals, and the finest should be used when placed in God’s presence.
Manna was the “bread of the wilderness” which God gave to the children of Israel when they were going from Egypt to the Promised Land. Number 11:7,8 says, “And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium. And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil.” John 6:31,32 says, “Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them BREAD FROM HEAVEN to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.”
The manna placed in the Ark was to be a witness to the generations to come how that God provided for His people in the wilderness. Exodus 16:31-33 says, “And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. And Moses said, This is the thing which the LORD commandeth, FILL AN OMER OF IT TO BE KEPT FOR YOUR GENERATIONS; THAT THEY MAY SEE THE BREAD WHEREWITH I HAVE FED YOU IN THE WILDERNESS, when I brought you forth from the land of Egypt. And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a pot, and put an omer full of manna therein, and lay it up before the LORD, to be kept for your generations.”
It was a reminder to them, and to us, that God takes care of His own. Psalm 37:25 says, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” Matthew 6:31-33 says, “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Aaron’s rod that budded was placed in the Ark, first, to show the children of Israel (especially the rebellious ones) that God had indeed chosen Aaron and his sons to be priests. Numbers 17:1-5 says, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and take of every one of them a rod according to the house of their fathers, of all their princes according to the house of their fathers twelve rods: write thou every man’s name upon his rod. And thou shalt write Aaron’s name upon the rod of Levi: for one rod shall be for the head of the house of their fathers. And thou shalt lay them up in the tabernacle of the congregation before the testimony, where I will meet with you. And it shall come to pass, that the man’s rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom: AND I WILL MAKE TO CEASE FROM ME THE MURMURINGS OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, WHEREBY THEY MURMUR AGAINST YOU.”
As for the rod or staff, it represents comfort and protection to the obedient. Psalm 23:4 says, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; THY ROD AND THY STAFF THEY COMFORT ME.” But they represent chastening or judgment to the disobedient. Proverbs 26:3 says, “A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and A ROD FOR THE FOOL’S BACK.” Proverbs 13:24 says, “He that SPARETH HIS ROD hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”
So God provides our daily bread, and He provides the chastening that we need to keep us in line.
The tables of the covenant were also there. They were the written Word of God, the Ten Commandments. Man may break God’s commandments; and, like Moses, in a fit of rage forget how precious those commandments are to our lives here. Man as it were “throws them aside” when he is angry or preoccupied with something else in this world. But man better realize that “casting them aside” does NOT “do away with them.” Man will face the Word of God again one day. Psalm 119:89 says, “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” Matthew 24:35 says, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Those who think that they can ignore the Word of God, will be surprised to see it right there at their judgment. John 12:48 says, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: THE WORD THAT I HAVE SPOKEN, THE SAME SHALL JUDGE HIM IN THE LAST DAY.”
Are you ready to meet the Lord?