[God...made a lasting mark through the sacrifice of Jesus. Hebrews 13:20 MSG
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore the visible evidence that identifies us as faithful followers of Jesus. Can others see Jesus in our lives? ~ Donna Oswalt]
After arriving at Kadesh, 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. . . Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out . . . 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. Numbers 20:1-13 NIV
Nearly 40 years before, the Israelites arrive at this same place, Kadesh, after their rescue from Egypt. Their fear and disobedience cost them more years in the desert. Now, a new generation stands on the edge of finally entering the Promised Land. Yet, in all this time of God’s daily provision, they still complain about being in the desert. Forgetting their parents’ disobedience, they blame Moses, and quarrel about water.
Moses asks the Lord’s guidance and receives specific instructions. As Moses returns to the people, his anger rises at their contention and discord. In this moment, Moses strikes the rock – twice – and water comes. The problem is that God told Moses to “speak” to the rock. God is doing this miracle, but Moses is taking the credit. Now Moses stands before God and is told he will not enter the Promised Land. Moses is the leader, the model for the nation, and he had not shown God honor in his disobedience. This place was known as the waters of Meribah, because it was where the people of Israel argued with the LORD, and where He demonstrated His holiness among them.
When we do not rely on God, but allow emotions to tarnish God’s holiness, we can become self-righteous. In our disobedience we do not honor God. Like the Israelites, our continued sinful behavior, after God’s repeated provision and promise, shows a lack of trust. In our rebellion and enmity, we bear the mark of Meribah. We are the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, and if we desecrate His temple, we do not bring honor to God who is Sovereign and Holy.
- Read Numbers 20:1-13, make a list of the people’s actions. How are you like them?
- List Moses’ actions; list God’s responses. Do others see you trusting God?
Mighty One, forgive my foolish, self-centered focus. Remind me of Your generous Provisions. I desire to give You honor and glory. Increase my trust in You. – dho
All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2013 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
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“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”