Numbers 20. This chapter is important because:- ….
♦It is a chapter of death and failure!
♦This chapter opens and closes with two deaths; Miriam and Aaron.
♦In between we see the sin of Moses and the sin of Edom.
♦ It marks the end of forty years of wandering;
The journey from Egypt to Canaan, was an 11-DAY journey!
But after thirty-eight years' tedious abode in the wilderness, the armies of Israel advanced towards Canaan again.
There was no water for the congregation.
The need of the Israel was real, …
…………. but their response filled with unbelief and bad attitude
♦ WHAT ABOUT OUR ATTITUDE WHEN WE LACK SOMETHING?
Moses and Aaron realized the seriousness of this problem and so they fell on their faces in front of God.
Moses began by doing exactly what the LORD had told him to do.
Moses lost his temper in the process of dealing with God's people.
HE CALLED THEM REBELS AND FURIOUSLY STRUCK THE ROCK TWICE, although God had told him to speak to the rock.
Why did God punish Moses and Aaron for what happened at the rock?
They disrespect God in front of Israel,
They tried to claim that it was through their striking the rock that water would flow.
God himself tells Moses and Aaron why they were being punished.
In verse 12 and 13, “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.”
Sometimes in exhaustion or anger, or because of our pride, we don’t pay close attention to God.
▪Sometimes He tells us to act;
▪sometimes He tells us to speak;
▪sometimes He tells us to wait.
We must always be careful to listen before we take action.
PARTIAL OBEDIENCE IS DISOBEDIENCE
Speak To That Rock
Numbers 20: 8. God is telling to Moses, speak to the rock. It will pour out his water .
What is that rock? That Spiritual rock is Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 10: 4.
When there was no water in the wilderness first time, they smote ( hit hard ) the rock,as advised by the Lord. Yes, Jesus Christ,our rock was smote on the cross once at Calvary and gave us Salvation.. But l if we are committing sin again and again, we are smiting on the rock again and again.
But when we speak or talk to Jesus Christ our rock, through prayer and meditation of the word of God, He will pour out His water (livingwater)
It will help us to grow spiritually and to give fruits to feed us and others.
What are the blessings we receive from this rock Jesus Christ?
1. It gives water.Numbers 20: 10. Living water.John 4: 10, 14.
2. Oil ( anointation of the Holy Spirit ) Job 29: 6.
3.Honey ( word of God ) Psalm 81:16.
4. Salvation. Psalm 89:26.
5. Gives strength.lsaiah 17: 10.
6. When we hide ourselves in the cleft of this ŕock, we see the glory of our Lord. Exodus 33:22.
Yes, when we speak to this rock, Jesus Christ we receive these blessings in our life. But let us take care not to do sin again to smite on the rock. Let us speak to this rock more and more, day by day so that our rock who cleft or us will give us double fold blessings. Amen.
Dr. Padmini Selvyn.
"So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole..when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived" Verses 4-9 in this chapter tell how the people of God were complaining bitterly about the living conditions in the desert. With an outstretched arm and mighty hand the Lord. God released His people from the house of bondage, but apparently, they had not left the old Egyptian habits behind!
The people became impatient on the way - detour around Edom. They asked to Moses and God, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? " They were blaming God for their problems. They wanted more than the manna God was providing each day. They wanted to go back to their old way of life in Egypt where they were slaves. Lack of faith in Yahweh cause a sin because it was a violation of the covenant in Mt. Sinai. So Yahweh sent poisonous snakes-they bit the people and many of them died.
This incident gives us certain spiritual insights in our walk with Lord Jesus Christ We are called not to begrudge God's generosity in our life. We often complain even about God's act of goodness. Israel acted as if slavery back in Egypt would be better than freedom. When we are confronted with crisis, how would be, how do we, go on? What do we do when something for which we have hoped, prayed and laboured, recedes farther and farther into the distance?
God is asking the Israelites as well as us today "Do you begrudge my generosity?" We are called to remember that God is merciful to provideremedy for every crisis when we sincerely call upon Him. It is notable that God does not remove the snakes to solve the problem, but provides a means for healing in the midst of danger.
The Israelites said " We have sinned, buy speaking against you and Moses." Whenever they confessed, their sins corporately and individually, in the past, God was gracious enough to forgive them. Then Yahweh provides the remedy of the bronze serpent lifted up in a pole. Individuals who were bitten by the snake, should look up to the snake for life God worked out this as a foreshadow of Jesus' death on the cross for the salvation of all the people who look up on Him.
It is written," And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the son of man be lifted up, that whosoever believe in him should not perish, but have eternal life" ( John 3:15)
Dear friends, So many around us are dying because of sin, the venomous serpent. Let us tell them the Good News that there is a cross lifted up on calvary for their salvation if they look at Him.
Dr. Thomas David
Moses was a great leader of the Israelites. He was a simple shepherd chosen to be a great leader. His call was from a burning bush in a desert. He gave so many excuses to give heed to God's call.
God gave Aaron to be the spokesman for Moses. He had to take his rod wherever he went and miracles took place whenever he lifted his rod according to God's command.
This is the testimony he bore: Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than any one on the face of the earth. He is faithful in all my house with him I speak face to face (Num 12: 7, 8).
Moses led the people to the desert of Sin. The people did not remember the great miracles and the wonderful ways the Lord led them.
In this desert there was no water. At once they opposed Moses and Aaron and quarrelled with them saying, Why did you bring us out of Egypt to this terrible place where there is no water and proper food.
God asked Moses to gather the people together, to take his staff with him, but only to SPEAK to the rock and it will pour out water.
⛰ At once the accumulated anger, exasperation and frustration came to expression (Ps.106:33). They rebelled against the spirit of God and RASH WORDS came from Moses' lips.
Moses did not obey God. He STRUCK the rock twice instead of speaking to it. In his rage Moses disobeyed the Lord's instructions to speak to the rock. Moses' rash action brought a stern rebuke from the Lord.
▪ Moses' action was a lack of trust in God.
▪ God's holiness was offended by Moses' rash action and he did not reverence the holy presence of God (v12).
The end result of Moses rash action was: Neither Moses nor Aaron would enter the promised land. The inclusion of Aaron demonstrates his partaking with his brother in the breach against God's holiness.
There is no favouritism with God. Whoever it may be, when they don't trust the Lord to honour Him as holy and disobey His instructions they will have to reap the consequences. So Moses the great leader could not enter the Promised Land.
Self Check for the day
What a deep lesson we learn! God expects implicit obedience, complete trust in Him as holy.
In our Christian life if we allow anger or pride to displease the holiness of God we have to reap the consequences whoever we may be.
Let us BEWARE!
Mrs Caroline Chellappa