Read again Numbers 20:12-13. What specific reason did the Lord give to Moses for why he couldn’t go over because of what he did? See also Deuteronomy 31:2 and Deuteronomy 34:4.
According to this text, there was more to Moses’ sin than just his own attempt to take the place of God, which was bad enough. He also showed a lack of faith, which, for someone like Moses, would be inexcusable. After all, this is the man who, from the burning bush (Exodus 3:2-16) onward, had had an experience with God unlike most people, and yet, according to the text Moses did not “believe Me,” (NKJV); that is, Moses showed a lack of faith in what the Lord had said, and as a result he had failed to “hallow Me,” before the children of Israel. In other words, had Moses kept his calm and done the right thing by showing his own faith and trust in God amid their apostasy, he would have glorified the Lord before the people and been, again, an example to them of what true faith and obedience were like.
Notice, too, how Moses had disobeyed what the Lord told him specifically to do.
Read Numbers 20:8. What had the Lord told Moses to do, but what did Moses do instead (Numbers 20:9-11)?
Verse nine has Moses taking the rod as the Lord had commanded him. So far, so good. But by verse 10, instead of speaking to the rock, from which water would then have flowed as an astounding expression of God’s power — Moses struck it, not once but twice. Yes, hitting a rock and having water come from it was miraculous, but certainly not as miraculous as just speaking to it and seeing the same thing happening.
Sure, on the surface it might have seemed that God’s judgment upon Moses was extreme: after all that Moses had been through, he was not going to be allowed to cross over into the Promised Land, after all. For as long as this story has been told, people have wondered why — because of one rash act — would what he had been anticipating for so long be denied him.
|What lesson do you think the children of Israel should have learned from what happened to Moses?|