Numbers 20:12 “But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.’”
The Hebrews were in the desert wandering because of their unbelief and rebellion against God, as He led them toward the Promised Land. They had no water and experienced thirst, so they grumbled against Moses and Aaron, really against God, about dying in the wilderness rather than back in Egypt where there was milk and honey flowing. God then told Moses to take his staff and Aaron to a designated rock and to speak to the rock from which water would flow. Moses, in his anger at the people, raised his staff and struck the rock twice, and water did flow out of it. As a result of their disobedience and lack of trust in God to demonstrate His holiness before the people, these two brothers were denied entry into the Promised Land as well.
Oh how important is to do what God tells us to do as He instructs and not as we think or interpret. Moses followed the pattern given to him on Mount Sinai in creating the tabernacle and all its instruments down to the smallest detail as God commanded, yet in the desert in the midst of the people and being greatly frustrated with them, he loses his cool and smack the rock with his staff rather than speaking to it. He didn’t do what God told him to do, and thus God’s holiness was infringed upon by his actions.
On the other hand, God in his infinite love for His people, who were “dying of thirst,” caused the water to come out of the rock despite the disobedience of Moses and Aaron. We should be so grateful that God will overlook our incompetence and disobedience in the moment of need, but He will not let us go without consequence. We might tend to glance over Moses’ actions because of his frustration with an entire nation of people, who did nothing but constantly complain against him and God. There may even be a tendency in us to feel sorry for Moses for dealing with such insolence toward him and God, but God could not excuse Moses’ indifference.
Let us not be guilty of the mistake that Moses and Aaron made, but instead, let us learn from their example of what not to do and to do. WE are not to do what we want, but WE are to do what God wants and just as He prescribes. There is always a price to pay for disobedience, which is the short definition of sin. Because Moses and Aaron sinned against God, they were denied entry into Canaan and would not lead the people into the land promised to the patriarchs. They would die in the wilderness at God’s timing and choosing. Aaron never saw Canaan, but Moses did. We don’t want to be denied the blessing of God in our lives simply because of our ineptness.
When God gives you an assignment no matter the degree of difficulty or ease, just do it the way He says. It is always easier to obey than disobey. It is better to obey than sacrifice your blessing for doing things your way.
Father, help me to do everything You have assigned me in the prescribed fashion down to the minutest detail. I know that I have missed it in the past and most likely will again because I am human. However, I desire to be as much like You as possible. Through obedience to You in all I do, I will become more like You. Help me to [believe and obey You and] to treat [You] as holy in the sight of the” church because I desire to ‘lead this assembly into” Your righteousness, as You designed. Help me accomplish my mission by the power of Your Spirit. May Your name and holiness be declared around the world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.