Sunday, June 22, 2014

Numbers 20

Today's reading in our daily plan is Numbers 20. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • Once again we find the Israelites complaining and in revolt against Moses' leadership.
  • Interestingly, this problem is almost an exact replay of something that had occurred 40 years earlier. In Exodus 17:1-7 we see the Israelites fighting with Moses because they had no water. There God told Moses to strike a rock with his staff and water would come out, which is exactly what happens. Here, God tells Moses to speak to the rock and water would come out. Instead, Moses says, "Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock" and strikes the rock twice with his staff. Despite Moses' disobedience to God's instruction, God graciously gives the Israelites water from the rock. But then God tells Moses that because he did not trust Him and honor Him as holy, he would not be the one to lead the Israelites into the holy land.
  • Next (verses 14-21) we see Moses unsuccessfully trying to have the Israelites pass through the nation of Edom peacefully.
  • "gathered to his people" (verse 24) is a euphemism for death. At Aaron's death, his son Eleazar takes his place.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • What precisely did Moses do wrong that led God to keep him from leading His' people into the holy land? We're not told exactly. It may have that Moses didn't trust God enough to believe that his just speaking to the rock would be enough, so he resorted to what had worked before and struck the rock instead. Or it may have been that Moses took credit for God's work when he said, "must we bring bring you water out of this rock".

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • We see in this chapter that God is very serious about obedience to Him. It was not ok with God that Moses sort of did what He was commanded. God wanted Moses to trust Him and do exactly what He was told. Where in your life are you not trusting God and therefore not doing exactly what He's told you to do? How does seeing what happened with Moses impact your thinking? What will you do to align yourself with God's commands for your life?