Sticks and Stones and Words.

In Numbers 20, Moses is faced with another challenge.  The people are out of water, and once again, they complain against Moses and God.  “Why didn’t you let us die before?” they whine. 

God tells Moses to take the staff that had been set aside as holy in the temple in yesterday’s reading, and take it out to the rocks on the mountain side.  He is supposed call for water to come out of the rocks, and it would come out.  It was going to be a sign once again to the people that God can take care of them anytime He needs to.

Moses gets mad, though.  I don’t blame him after all he’s been through with them.  In his anger, he takes the staff and hits the rock.   God still makes water come out of it, He still provides for His people.  But He tells Moses and Aaron that they won’t be allowed into the promised land because of this.  What?!  Man, that’s a stiff penalty after all this time of obedience.

But, let’s look at a few things.  One, for them to die peacefully wasn’t a curse.  They were set free from the roles they played here, and got to go home with Him.  And they didn’t die painfully or over a long time.  God just takes them home.  (Aaron now, Moses later).  Two, the staff had been set aside as holy.  It was a beautiful sign of life and provision.  This is the staff that God made bloom.  It was a miracle.  Moses used it for his own purposes, in anger.  He should have suffered much worse than he did.  Third, by striking the rock, Moses shows a lack of faith.  You can’t just speak to a rock and have it pour out water.  So he hit the rock.  He compromised with God.  This miracle is a little bit me, a little bit You.  But it doesn’t work that way.  It’s all Him.

What are we trying to compromise with God on today?  What is He wanting to do, but we aren’t trusting Him on it?  Where are we saying “It’s a little bit me, and a little bit You?”  He may still bless those around us, but it will cost us something. 

Whatever God is telling you to do, do it.  Speak it, don’t strike out at it.

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