“The Lord said to Moses and Aaron… ‘Get Aaron and his son Eleazar and take them up Mount Hor. Remove Aaron’s [priestly] garments and put them on his son Eleazar, for Aaron will be gathered to his people; he will die there’.” Numbers 20:23-26

Recently, my family held a celebration of life service for my grandma. During the preparation,  my mom, aunts, and uncles chose songs and verses that she loved, and which reflected her love for and faith in Christ Jesus. Several of us shared during the service, and her faith and service to the Lord were recurring themes. 

According to Scripture, she was gathered to her people, and now dwells in heaven with the Lord. 

When I think of the word gather, I picture a child lovingly scooping up his teddy bear; or a gardener gently plucking flower after flower to add to her basket. I envision a father, tenderly lifting a small child to his knee.

The word gather does not immediately seem to fit with the idea of death. Yet, this is the word God uses to communicate His plan to Moses and Aaron.

Moses and Aaron were witness to God’s voice; God told them that Aaron would die and be gathered to his people--an expression affirming that Aaron would be united with the family of believers who had gone before him, and with God Himself. 

The image of God gathering up His people is an expression of His love and care for them. In the moment a Christ-follower passes from this life into the next, God reveals to them His perfect salvation. What was once a hope-filled promise becomes reality for those who love and believe in Him, as He brings them into communion with Himself. 


Then, Moses and Aaron were gathered to their people through faith, believing that following God’s commands would bring forgiveness; now, we will one day be gathered to our people through our faith that acknowledges forgiveness comes only in accepting Christ’s sacrifice for us. 

Lord, thank you for the saving sacrifice you made by dying for our sins, and raising to life again! Thank you that by faith alone we can receive the hope-filled promise of salvation. Thank you for the assurance you have given me that I will one day see my grandma again in heaven!

Take Action

Do you trust that God will gather you to your people in heaven one day? Does fear crowd out the joy and hope that comes from believing this? If so, tell God your fears and ask him to change your heart. You can also speak with or request prayer from one of our mentors about any fears or doubts you may have. 

Tags: salvation heaven