Numbers 3–The Levites, God’s Firstborn

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The Levitical tribe had a unique place in Israel.  They were set apart to perform all the duties related to the spiritual functions of the nation.  They were in charge of the Tabernacle and the tent of meeting.  They would care for the furnishings and the Ark of the Covenant.  They would be the priests of the tribes and always be spread through the tribes and not left on their own.

But, the Lord said something unique to Moses–These are to be the replacement for the 1st born males from every Israelite woman that I lost in Egypt.  God had not forgotten the horrible act Pharaoh had ordered.  The Levites were to replace the first born males lost to Israel–the ones that would normally be committed to God. What a seat of honor–to be truly set apart as a tribe, to replace such a grievous loss.  The men of Levi would hold that distinction from then on.

In our lives, God set us apart as well.  We are to be his chosen.  We are to be his ambassadors among the people of the world.  We are to wear the LORD’S name boldly as we live our daily lives.  God treasured the Levitical order; just as He treasures us. We simply need to live as His people, It is as great an honor to live as God’s ambassadors while we walk among those we know each day!

God Bless You

This is the account of the family of Aaron and Moses at the time the Lord spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai.

The names of the sons of Aaron were Nadab the firstborn and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.Those were the names of Aaron’s sons, the anointed priests, who were ordained to serve as priests. Nadab and Abihu, however, died before the Lord when they made an offering with unauthorized fire before him in the Desert of Sinai. They had no sons, so Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests during the lifetime of their father Aaron.

The Lord said to Moses, “Bring the tribe of Levi and present them to Aaron the priest to assist him. They are to perform duties for him and for the whole community at the tent of meeting by doing the work of the tabernacle. They are to take care of all the furnishings of the tent of meeting, fulfilling the obligations of the Israelites by doing the work of the tabernacle. Give the Levites to Aaron and his sons; they are the Israelites who are to be given wholly to him.[a] 10 Appoint Aaron and his sons to serve as priests; anyone else who approaches the sanctuary is to be put to death.”

11 The Lord also sai

Numbers 25 Part 1–Even After All God’s Blessings…

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Unbelievable, The Moabite King spent days trying to destroy Israel by having a prophet curse them.  He literally tried every angle to make it happen and God protected Israel. That should have been the happy ending, but sadly it was not.  The Israelite men started sneaking over and sleeping with the Moabite women and taking part in the idol worship, sacrifices and sexual rituals.  

Aaron’s grandson who was now the priest saved Israel from God’s wrath and stopped the ridiculous behavior. He followed  one of the men while he was with 2 Moabite women in camp, walked into the tent and killed them for their horrid behavior! That stopped God’s wrath against His people. Really?!!?

Sadly, as a result, over 24,000 folks died of plague.  How one could think it was safe to act so horribly with God right in camp– it is beyond belief…well, that is until we look at our own lives! We are all notorious of committing acts that are sinful knowing that God is right there! We are, therefore, blessed to have so great a salvation–that forgives us when we sin.  Only God can forgive that sin.  We must trust the Lord, and follow Him daily–to reach a place where we follow Him humbly and gracefully. 

Help me Lord to trust, follow and walk with You daily.

God Bless You

While Israel was staying in Shittim, the men began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women, who invited them to the sacrifices to their gods. The people ate the sacrificial meal and bowed down before these gods. So Israel yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor. And the Lord’s anger burned against them.

The Lord said to Moses, “Take all the leaders of these people, kill them and expose them in broad daylight before the Lord, so that the Lord’s fierce anger may turn away from Israel.”

So Moses said to Israel’s judges, “Each of you must put to death those of your people who have yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor.”

Then an Israelite man brought into the camp a Midianite woman right before the eyes of Moses and the whole assembly of Israel while they were weeping at the entrance to the tent of meeting. When Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, saw this, he left the assembly, took a spear in his hand and followed the Israelite into the tent. He drove the spear into both of them, right through the Israelite man and into the woman’s stomach. Then the plague against the Israelites was stopped; but those who died in the plague numbered 24,000.

10 The Lord said to Moses, 11 “Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, has turned my anger away from the Israelites. Since he was as zealous for my honor among them as I am, I did not put an end to them in my zeal. 12 Therefore tell him I am making my covenant of peace with him. 13 He and his descendants will have a covenant of a lasting priesthood,because he was zealous for the honor of his God and made atonement for the Israelites.”

Numbers 23-24–It’s Not About Location

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The Moabite king was convinced that he could curse Israel.  So, he summoned a local mystic–Balaam, to come and do the job.  Balaam asked God if he could take the job, and God said no. The King’s men came back and got Balaam to come–Balaam told them he would not do it, they urged him to come anyway.  God said fine, go, but only say what I tell you to say.  So, for the next several days, Balak, King of Moab, ushered the mystic from place to place. In each place, alters would be built, sacrifices made, and then–Balaam would bless Israel.

The King became furious–but, the prophet  would simply respond, I can only say what God has told me to say–and again the prophet would bless Israel. In the end, the King knew he had been stupid, his nation, and the allies of his nation were put on notice–Israel is and will be blessed by God–do not expect to defeat them.  In addition, your peoples will be destroyed, Have a nice day.

The bottom line is that the natural man does not understand the things of God. 1 Corinthians 2:14+ says it well, “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” 

People think that they control their destinies. They simply do not.  There is a God who created and controls everything. The world simply thinks that because God allows evil to exist; that He must not be in control. SO Wrong! God has a plan and He will execute it to the letter. Israel was marching through the desert–awaiting the day they could enter the Promised Land. While they waited, they still were being prepared by God, provided for by God and were living under God’s protection.

As God’s chosen, today, we too live under His provision, preparation and protection.  It often feels as though the world has the upper hand; but, truth be known, nothing happens without God’s permission. That is why the promises of Roman 8:18, 28 and 34 are so significant. No matter how difficult our struggles–they cannot compare to the blessings that lie ahead. Further, all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. Finally, there is nothing in this world that can separate us from our God. Israel saw that daily. Paul wrote about it as a testimony to an amazing journey; and, we can live it–if we will simply trust and follow God!

God Bless You

Now when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not resort to divination as at other times, but turned his face toward the wilderness. When Balaam looked out and saw Israel encamped tribe by tribe, the Spirit of God came on him and he spoke his message:

“The prophecy of Balaam son of Beor,
    the prophecy of one whose eye sees clearly,
the prophecy of one who hears the words of God,
    who sees a vision from the Almighty,[a]
    who falls prostrate, and whose eyes are opened:

“How beautiful are your tents, Jacob,
    your dwelling places, Israel!

“Like valleys they spread out,
    like gardens beside a river,
like aloes planted by the Lord,
    like cedars beside the waters.
Water will flow from their buckets;
    their seed will have abundant water.

“Their king will be greater than Agag;
    their kingdom will be exalted.

“God brought them out of Egypt;
    they have the strength of a wild ox.
They devour hostile nations
    and break their bones in pieces;
    with their arrows they pierce them.
Like a lion they crouch and lie down,
    like a lioness—who dares to rouse them?

“May those who bless you be blessed
    and those who curse you be cursed!”

Numbers 22 Part 2–Out of the Mouth of Donkey’s…

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Balaam was a prophet of God. God had made it clear that Balaam was not to curse what God had blessed.  The Moabite king was trying to enlist Balaam to destroy Israel.  God had already warned Balaam–yet, Balaam was drawn to go and meet the Moabite King.  An Angel of God stood, sword drawn ready to stop the prophet. Fortunately, Balaam’s donkey refused to put his master in danger, as a result, the prophet beat the donkey for not walking him to his death. God opened Balaam’s eyes and the mouth of the donkey; and made His point clear, God was large and in charge.  The prophet was so repentant–to God, and to his donkey.  He realized the foolishness of flirting with sin and with God’s enemies. He then followed God’s lead.
 
So often in life, we are faced with opportunities to flirt with the world. It always seems exciting and romantic–but, it never ends well. Interestingly God used a donkey to expose the truth.  It is a great irony, using the simplest creature to expose the truth.  The donkey saw the danger and avoided it despite 3 beatings.  We need to be as smart as a donkey and avoid the world’s inducements.  We need to listen to God’s lead, and submit to him humbly and completely.  In His time, God will reveal the traps, entanglements and dangers that stand in our way.  We simply need to trust the Lord.  Balaam was a prophet, but his pride kept him from seeing the truth.  Help me , Lord to have the sense of a donkey and turn away from the traps of this world.
 
God Bless You

 Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the Moabite officials. 22 But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the Lord stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, it turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat it to get it back on the road.

24 Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path through the vineyards, with walls on both sides. 25 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot against it. So he beat the donkey again.

26 Then the angel of the Lord moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat it with his staff. 28 Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”

29 Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.”

30 The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?”

“No,” he said.

31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.

32 The angel of the Lord asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me.[a] 33 The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If it had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared it.”

34 Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back.”

35 The angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you.” So Balaam went with Balak’s officials.

Numbers 22 Part 1–Do Not Curse What God Has Blessed

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The Israelites were on a roll.  Now as they approached Moab, Moab’s King and the Moabites were getting scared. They had already heard of the destruction Israel completed on the Amorites.  So Balak the king sent a message to Balaam a local prophet to come and curse the Israelites.  As Balaam prepared to answer the King, he sought God’s leading.  God was clear–DO NOT CURSE WHAT I HAVE BLESSED!  The message was in fact very clear.
 
Sometimes the right answer seems so simple.  I have a problem, let ME fix it.  So, Balak thought–I will get God to curse these people so I can defeat them.  The only problem was, Balak forgot to seek God First.  Fortunately, Balaam, the prophet did seek God first–God said DON’T  DO IT!
 
In our lives, often we do the same thing.  We have a problem and we seek to solve it in the best way we can.  Sadly, often the best way WE can flies in the face of God’s plan.  So we have to go back and follow Jesus own words, “Seek First the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  If we will focus on seeking God, and not try to take matters into our own hands, then we can walk in His blessing and allow Him to work.  God is flawless in His execution.  We must continue to follow and trust Him.
 
God Bless You

Then the Israelites traveled to the plains of Moab and camped along the Jordan across from Jericho.

Now Balak son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites, and Moab was terrified because there were so many people. Indeed, Moab was filled with dread because of the Israelites.

The Moabites said to the elders of Midian, “This horde is going to lick up everything around us, as an ox licks up the grass of the field.”

So Balak son of Zippor, who was king of Moab at that time, sent messengers to summon Balaam son of Beor, who was at Pethor, near the Euphrates River, in his native land. Balak said:

“A people has come out of Egypt; they cover the face of the land and have settled next to me. Now come and put a curse on these people, because they are too powerful for me. Perhaps then I will be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land. For I know that whoever you bless is blessed, and whoever you curse is cursed.”

The elders of Moab and Midian left, taking with them the fee for divination. When they came to Balaam, they told him what Balak had said.

“Spend the night here,” Balaam said to them, “and I will report back to you with the answer the Lord gives me.” So the Moabite officials stayed with him.

God came to Balaam and asked, “Who are these men with you?”

10 Balaam said to God, “Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, sent me this message: 11 ‘A people that has come out of Egypt covers the face of the land. Now come and put a curse on them for me. Perhaps then I will be able to fight them and drive them away.’”

12 But God said to Balaam, “Do not go with them. You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed.”

Numbers 21 Final–Amorites? What Amorites?

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While God Had not allowed Israel to take possession of the promised land, Make no mistake–He was still with them.  Israel, the nomadic people, were just minding their own business and kindly asked to walk through the Amorite lands.  They were respectful, promised not to steal or destroy anything as they passed.  But, Sihon the King, said no! Not only did he say no, but, he decided to attack the Israelites and give them a lesson…or so he thought.  Turns out, that was the last poor choice Sihon would make.
 
Israel routed the Amorites. They wiped them out, killed the King and took over the land. God delivered the enemies, their King and their lands over to His people.  God was not fooling around.  The people that lived in the land were going to know that Israel was a protected people. If they would simply follow God, they would be untouchable. Israel was always polite and unassuming–but, mess with them, and it would cost you everything.
 
That is how much God loves his own. He will discipline them for a lack of faith and trust–but, He will protect them from all enemies.  The enemies will soon realize they are not facing the people, they are facing the great I AM! Bible history makes it clear–that is a fight you do not want to start.  So, in our time and in this world–we need simply to trust God and follow Him closely.  As we do, the Lord will guide and protect us.  He will deliver into our hands more than we could have ever hoped for.  It is always better to allow God to be God–He does it so much better than we do–if you don’t believe me, just ask Sihon, former king of the Amorites!!!
 
God Bless You

Israel sent messengers to say to Sihon king of the Amorites:

22 “Let us pass through your country. We will not turn aside into any field or vineyard, or drink water from any well. We will travel along the King’s Highway until we have passed through your territory.”

23 But Sihon would not let Israel pass through his territory. He mustered his entire army and marched out into the wilderness against Israel. When he reached Jahaz, he fought with Israel.24 Israel, however, put him to the sword and took over his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok,but only as far as the Ammonites, because their border was fortified. 25 Israel captured all the cities of the Amorites and occupied them, including Heshbon and all its surrounding settlements. 26 Heshbon was the city of Sihon king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab and had taken from him all his land as far as the Arnon…

So Israel settled in the land of the Amorites.

32 After Moses had sent spies to Jazer, the Israelites captured its surrounding settlements and drove out the Amorites who were there. 33 Then they turned and went up along the road toward Bashan, and Og king of Bashan and his whole army marched out to meet them in battle at Edrei.

34 The Lord said to Moses, “Do not be afraid of him, for I have delivered him into your hands, along with his whole army and his land. Do to him what you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon.”

35 So they struck him down, together with his sons and his whole army, leaving them no survivors. And they took possession of his land

Numbers 21 Part 2–The Bronze Snake

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It is almost laughable.  God had literally just delivered the Israelites from the hands of the Canaanites.  The people were successful in the battle and a message to those who would consider attacking Israel sent.  It should have been a time of peace and celebration.  Instead, Israel began complaining about God’s protection and provision.  “No bread, No water, the food stinks…” God had dealt with the lack of gratefulness in several ways, up to then, this time, He released snakes among those complaining.  If bit, the people would die.

Moses, great leader that he was, again interceded on behalf of Israelites.  I am sure he and God had quite a talk.  In the end, however, God allowed Moses to construct a cure, a snake on a pole. No matter how sick the Israelites were, if they would simply look at the pole, they would be cured.  It was clear, God had little tolerance for the ungrateful hearts of His people. Still even in God’s fury, He was willing to forgive and restore His people.

In our lives, we often find ourselves forgetting the great things God has done on our behalf.  Our very salvation comes from the greatest sacrifice of God. Still, we soon forget the provision, the protection and the preparation God has provided us.  Instead, we tend to complain about the circumstances, the trials and the opportunities God gives us to trust and let Him lead.  In the midst of the complaining, God loses patience…really, after all He has done, and we are still not satisfied? The message was clear–be grateful for what you have, not ungrateful for what you think you lack.  God knows what we need and provides it. It is rarely timed or packaged in the form we would like, but it is always the right thing, at the right time.

Focus on Him, not on your circumstance–if you will, no matter how far gone you think you are, God can and will forgive and restore you!

God Bless You

They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea,[c] to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”

Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.

Numbers 21 Part 1–Don’t Mess With God’s Chosen!

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Never mistake discipline for disinterest.  Israel had ticked God off, no doubt. Their unbelief caused them to miss entering the promised land and drove them to march in the desert.  God was truly angry with their choice.  That was, in no way a decision to quit loving or to quit protecting them.  He still led them each day, fed them each day and protected them each day.  So when the Cnaanite King, Arad, decided to attack and vanquish Israel, he made a deadly assumption–he assumed they were an abandoned group of nomadic wanderers.  That mistake would cost him and his people everything.
 
God allowed Arad to become an example to all the nations. God helped Israel to completely wipe them out in payment for their attack on the nation.  All people and livestock dead; all cities burned, and nothing left to remember of Arad or his people.  They changed the name of the land to “Destruction”.  It must have been an invigorating experience to Israel.  The people that were captured were now free. The Armies of Israel, under God’s protection wiped out the enemy, and the world once again learned that these were God’s folk–under His Hand and protected from all enemies foreign or domestic.
 
Like Israel, we can get cross-ways with God. When we do, the enemy likes to lie to us and tell us God has abandoned us.  Nothing could be less true.  God disciplines those He loves, but, he will never leave or forsake them.  If someone thinks God has abandoned us, they are going to be sorely surprised as He protects and fulfills us.  We have to continue to trust and follow The Lord–allowing Him to continue to protect, prepare and provide for us.  As we do, God will then send the message to the enemy–“Redeemed! Bought with a price!” and we can rest safely and confidently in God’s arms!
 
God Bless You
When the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that Israel was coming along the road to Atharim, he attacked the Israelites and captured some of them. Then Israel made this vow to the Lord: “If you will deliver these people into our hands, we will totally destroy[a] their cities.” The Lord listened to Israel’s plea and gave the Canaanites over to them. They completely destroyed them and their towns; so the place was named Hormah.[b

Numbers 20 Final–Aaron’s Death…

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It must have been difficult to see Aaron die.  Moses had relied upon his brother as he carried out the leadership of Israel. From the beginning of the Exodus adventure, Aaron had acted as Moses right hand. He carried the staff Moses used to convince the Pharaoh to release Israel. He moved with Moses, he helped to build the alignment of the nation and acted as the chief among the Levitical order. So on this day, as God called Aaron home, it must have been a heavy blow to Moses.

Still, God had warned both Moses and Aaron that because of their disregard for His authority at Meribah; they would not enter Canaan. So Moses and Aaron did all God said to do. Aaron’s authority was passed to His son Eleazar and God literally took him home.  It was a sad moment for Israel, and for Moses. It was also a reminder to Moses that sin does, in fact, have a cost.  Moses had now lost both his sister and his brother. He must have felt quite alone in the world.  But, truth was, he still had God. It would be God that continued to guide him and meet his needs.  By this time, Moses had truly learned that God was all he needed to live. Moses had seen that apart from God, he was nothing and could do nothing.  So, Moses soldiered on through the grief and continued to humbly lead Israel.

In our lives, we also experience great loss. That loss often leaves us feeling alone and to some extent helpless to proceed. In the midst of that, we have to recognize God’s authority in our lives.  He will continue to walk with us, protect us and fulfill our needs–we simply need to accept his leadership and provision.  Like Moses, we are never truly alone as long as we trust and follow God. We may have to deal with grievous situations, we may lose all we think we have. Truth is–its all God’s; and, no matter our depth of loss, God will be there for us; until he calls us home.

God Bless You 

The whole Israelite community set out from Kadesh and came to Mount Hor. 23 At Mount Hor, near the border of Edom, the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 24 “Aaron will be gathered to his people. He will not enter the land I give the Israelites, because both of you rebelled against my command at the waters of Meribah. 25 Get Aaron and his son Eleazar and take them up Mount Hor. 26 Remove Aaron’s garments and put them on his son Eleazar, for Aaron will be gathered to his people; he will die there.”

27 Moses did as the Lord commanded: They went up Mount Hor in the sight of the whole community. 28 Moses removed Aaron’s garments and put them on his son Eleazar. And Aaron died there on top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain,29 and when the whole community learned that Aaron had died, all the Israelites mourned for him thirty days.

Numbers 20 Part 2–The Edomites

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Israel had enough issues. So as they approached Edom, they just wanted a nice quiet journey through. They would be respectful, stay on the road and simply move on to the next spot.  Sadly, however, The King of Edom was not having any of it.  Not only did he refuse Israel’s kind request, but he gathered up his army and was ready to attack.  It was quite a shock to Moses and the Israelite people.  But, What that selfish refusal would cause in later years would be the end of the Edomites.
 
God looks at His people and does keep track of how they are treated. When a nation opposes Israel, they oppose God.  It is critical to note, No one has opposed God and won.  NOBODY! God would long remember the acts of the Edomite king.  Through the ages, many have opposed Israel and all have eventually regretted it. We have to trust and honor God.  We also must recognize He cares for His own.  That being the case, we can rest assured he also cares for us. We can trust him to guide us, provide for us, and protect us; no matter the enemy or circumstance.  We may not always see the immediate affect of God’s hand; but, we can rest assured He will prevail.
 
God Bless You

Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom, saying:

“This is what your brother Israel says: You know about all the hardships that have come on us. 15 Our ancestors went down into Egypt, and we lived there many years. The Egyptians mistreated us and our ancestors, 16 but when we cried out to the Lord, he heard our cry and sent an angel and brought us out of Egypt.

“Now we are here at Kadesh, a town on the edge of your territory. 17 Please let us pass through your country. We will not go through any field or vineyard, or drink water from any well. We will travel along the King’s Highway and not turn to the right or to the left until we have passed through your territory.”

18 But Edom answered:

“You may not pass through here; if you try, we will march out and attack you with the sword.”

19 The Israelites replied:

“We will go along the main road, and if we or our livestock drink any of your water, we will pay for it. We only want to pass through on foot—nothing else.”

20 Again they answered:

“You may not pass through.”

Then Edom came out against them with a large and powerful army. 21 Since Edom refused to let them go through their territory, Israel turned away from them.

Numbers 20–Hitting a Rock!!??

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No matter how close one’s relationship with God is, on any given day–people forget to let God be God.  Moses was leading the people to the desert landmark. Since it was a desert–water was scarce.  The people, as usual, were complaining about thirst. Moses was grieving the death of his sister.  Still he came before God, and once again, sought God’s lead regarding water.  God told Moses and Aaron go speak to the rock and it would gush water.
 
Moses and Aaron went to the rock and said, “Listen you rebels, must WE bring you water out of this rock?” Moses then struck the rock, and water poured out.  Sadly, God then pulled the brothers aside and said–because you did not honor me in front of the people, you will not lead them into the promised land.  What a heartbreak.  I must be honest, this passage always bugged me. The amount of trouble that Moses accepted as he led the people was staggering. So on a bad day; after his sister died, for God to disqualifying him for hitting instead of talking to the rock seems harsh.  Truth is, though, It was Moses’ heart at issue.  Ok, must WE bring water from this rock-speaks to Moses’ perception of power; not a simple misunderstanding.
 
So often, we feel like life simply is not fair. Consequences are too harsh; or circumstances are not kind to a good person. We do not understand the apparent imbalance between actions and outcomes. Take heart, we are not alone. From the beginning, we have tried to understand God size issues with a man size understanding. It is simply impossible. That is why prophets, priests and kings have simply trusted God–not second guessed him.  Paul, the most prolific New Testament author,  reminded us several times, that our Job was to trust God, follow Him, and seek His eternal perspective. Otherwise, our hearts grow weary and our faith grows thin. Then, on any given day, we could decide we know better; and feel empowered to take charge and help God out. That never ends well.  Like Moses, we cut ourselves out of God’s blessing for our lives. Let’s follow the direction of Solomon, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all your ways…And HE will make your path straight!” Proverbs 3:5-6
God Bless You

In the first month the whole Israelite community arrived at the Desert of Zin, and they stayed at Kadesh. There Miriam died and was buried.

Now there was no water for the community, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron. They quarreled with Moses and said, “If only we had died when our brothers fell dead before the Lord! Why did you bring the Lord’s community into this wilderness, that we and our livestock should die here? Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!”

Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the tent of meeting and fell face down, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. The Lord said to Moses, “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.”

So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence, just as he commanded him. 10 He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” 11 Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.

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.”

13 These were the waters of Meribah,[a] where the Israelites quarreled with the Lord and where he was proved holy among them.