Numbers 20:8-11 “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. 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?” Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.”
Moses was an incredible man who lived years ago. God loved him and gave him responsibilities and leadership. However, he was human and he sinned. As we search this passage to understand the depth of what is happening, it is easy to scan over and see an obedient man who the Lord blessed. I chose to bold some key words that need to be looked at carefully.
1.) We: Moses is subtly taking credit for what only God did. I want to point out that it is very easy to let pride and selfishness cover our eyes. Specifically to my brothers and sisters in ministry, I want to warn each of us toconstantly be asking the Lord to check our hearts. It is very easy to try to share in His glory. Sure Moses included God, but he was robbing the Lord of His full glory. How often do we hear people say, “I have brought this many people to the Lord,” or “Thousands of people come to my church” or “I have touched so many lives with my singing.” The list can go on. It is vital that we remember to be humble and serve the Lord, giving Him total praise and trying not to steal His worship.
2.) Struck: The Lord specifically instructed Moses to “speak” to the rock. How many times do we doubt God’s ability to provide? Are we obedient or are we trying to take control? Moses hitting the rock was a symbol of him trying to take matters into his own hands, rather than fully relying on the Lord to work. He had belief, but he was not all in. It is so easy wanting to let the Lord take the steering wheel in our lives, but leaving one foot on the brake.
3.) Twice: Moses did double the work to accomplish the task. When we try to be in control, our ways tend to take more time and be more exhausting in the long run. How often do we think that we know better than God? I know that I can believe my ways and my plans are better, but ultimately Jesus’ ways are higher and better and if I just trust His plan and follow His lead, then I end up where He wanted me faster than if I strived to play sidekick. We need to let God be God and we need to be able to receive His blessings and not get in the way of what He desires to do in our lives. It is more tiring trying to be god, it can take double the amount of work and time.
It is beautiful how in spite of Moses’ inadequacies that the Lord still was gracious and gave the Israelites water. So be encouraged, we are not perfect people and sometimes we become controlling, but the Lord is good and He is forgiving and loves us anyways. Thanks to Jesus we have hope. We can pray for hearts to be pure and trusting in the Father’s perfect will.