Let’s put the doubters to rest, we need one way in which we can get things back under control and make sure that the people know who was chosen by God to lead the people of God. That’s basically what happens in this chapter. God has Moses take from each leader of the twelve tribes their respective staff and put it in the tent of meeting, or the tabernacle, or the place where the Lord was residing while they were stopped.
When he did that the staff of Aaron sprouted to the point that it produced the fruit of the almond and people were able to gather them from the staff if they wanted. No other staff had any other significant change to it so the people were supposed to see that Aaron was indeed, as Moses had said, the one who was supposed to lead the people in their religious life and Moses was supposed to lead in their civic life.
But, as a result of this display, the people were terrified. We can’t approach God, no one can get near, is there any way that you can change all of this because none of us feels comfortable in God being in our midst and the impending doom hanging over our head for anyone who might question his authority. Their fear is that they would all perish. Moses comes up with a creative response to this fear in the next chapter.