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.
2 Now there was no water for the community, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron. 3 They quarreled with Moses and said, “If only we had died when our brothers fell dead before the Lord! 4 Why did you bring the Lord’s community into this wilderness, that we and our livestock should die here? 5 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!”
6 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. 7 The Lord said to Moses, 8 “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.”
9 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.