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SPEAKING VS STRIKING

Just one wrong move, one subtle act of disobedience cost Moses the promised land.

 

The Israelites were suffering from lack of water and God wanted to give them relief so He commanded Moses to “speak to the rock” before the eyes of the people and it will pour out its water, the community and their livestock will then drink. When Moses and Aaron had gathered the people, Moses raised his staff and struck the rock twice instead of speaking to it yet water gushed out and the community and their livestock drank.

 

But Moses and Aaron were punished.

 

Over and over again in my mind, I’ve wondered and tried to figure out why Moses struck the rock instead of speaking to it, God’s command was pretty clear. Was it because he was angry? After all the people had opposed his leadership and quarreled with him or was it because speaking to the rock wasn’t as impressive as striking it with his staff? Maybe he thought when the people see him do something impressive with his staff again they’d have more respect for his leadership. Maybe it’s both, He was angry at their response to his leadership so he decided to put up a show to get their attention, by so doing he shared God’s glory with Him. When addressing the people, before striking the rock, he had said, “must we (I.e referring to himself and Aaron) bring you water out of this rock?” (Numbers 20)

 

Both Moses and Aaron would not enter the promised land.

 

Personally, I think the punishment was a bit harsh but perhaps the severity of their punishment will help us remember that our actions do have consequences and whether the consequence is positive or negative, we get to decide.

 

Walking with God and working for God must be done with all reverence, there is a standard that must be upheld (Matthew 5:48) when He gives a command, it should be obeyed. A lot of us have created a god for ourselves. A god that is all loving and doesn’t make demands or have expectations of us. A god that allows all things and doesn’t judge any wrong doings or allows us to go through the natural consequence that follows our wrong actions. This story should help correct whatever misconceptions we have about God.

 

 

Now that I’ve passed that message across, I also want to encourage everyone in ministry..don’t be tempted to strike the rock instead of speaking to it..what I mean is regardless of how unimpressive the task God has given you to do is, whether or not it gets the approval and applause of people, please stick to it. Have faith in him, trust Him to do the impossible with it, don’t take matters into your own hands.

 

 

And Finally

We must not share God’s glory with Him. In whatever way we are serving and whichever way God works through us, we must resist the urge to shift the attention of the people from God to ourselves. There was nothing special about Moses, he was just human, there was nothing special about his staff, it was made of wood..the only factor that makes us special and makes our calling and gifts special is God. Let’s never forget that.

 

 

 

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