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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC


Numbers 20:1-13

Verse 12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”

Today we will look at one last difference between Moses and Jesus. They exemplify two ways that we can respond to the Word of the Lord and what that response will mean for us in life.

In our passage today we see Moses trying to usurp the glory due to God. Moses was likely tired of hearing the people complain and blame him for where they were. He has heard them complain about many different things over the years and with each complaint their memory of what life was like in Egypt looked increasingly rosier than reality. The reality of the time in Egypt was that they were slaves who were being treated badly. They had witnessed sons being killed simply because they were born male. Towards the end they were even dealing with having to make brinks without being supplied with all the ingredients. But of course they blamed Moses for that too.

The people were not opposed to heading to the land promised to their ancestors but it wasn't happening in the way they had planned or even desired. They were excited about the prospect of a land to call their own but were wanting it served on a silver platter. They hadn't thought it would take long and it wouldn't be such a chore to get what they were entitled to. What they were missing was the wilderness being God's way of purging their lives from the evils of Egypt.

So when the people complained about the lack of water, Moses was already sick of hearing from them and so when he went to God for answers he may not have had a heart for listening. God instructed him to merely speak to the rock so that it would produce the desired water. That would have served as a very poignant image for the people about the power of Creator God. Only the creator of the rock could have called water from it. Sadly Moses missed the point of only speaking to the rock and he struck it, not once but twice.

God in His graciousness didn't withhold the needed water but He didn't let the prophet get away with the sin without consequence. The people got the water and Moses and Aaron received the lesson. The whole of the community could have experienced His power giving reason for great praise, the people and livestock drank their full but instead of worship breaking out, the place was given a name that spoke of their sin of arguing.

Moses wasn't being kept from heaven but he would miss the blessing of knowing the joy of the Promised Land. On the other hand Jesus was obedient even to death so that God would receive the full glory. With His death on the cross rocks broke open. And not only will Jesus enjoy the promised land of heaven, He will rule it! Whether we will enjoy the journey and the promised land of heaven has much to do with our heart's response to His Word.

Making It Personal

How would you rate your obedience to what God says? Have there been times in your life where you have suffered consequences for less than full obedience? What are you needing to obey Him about today?

Making It Personal Kids

Does it matter how you obey? Have you ever had something go not as good as you would have liked because you only obeyed part way? What do you need to obey about today?

Closing Prayer

Father, we confess that we don't always obey You as wholeheartedly as we should. Show us areas in our lives where we are missing out on blessings and joy because of half-hearted obedience. In Jesus' name, amen.


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