… And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,“Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So you shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their cattle.” And Moses took the staff from before the Lord, as he commanded. Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock. And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.” Numbers 20:7-12
Nothing very serious. God asked Moses to talk to the rock and Moses, because he was having a bad day, because the Israelites were doing that again, struck the rock. Surely God could have understood. Moses had been so patient and so obedient(Numbers 12). Was it not normal that for once he lost his temper? He surely didn’t want to disobey, he was just tired and emotionally exhausted.
But for God, what Moses did was serious. He was not a question of being tired, hurt or angry. It was a question of believing God and of honoring Him as holy in the eyes of the Israelites. Moses had stopped believing for a moment that God would vindicate him. He had stopped believing that being meek with his enemies was worth it. For a moment he stopped looking at the reward and look at the circumstances. For a moment he forgot who he was serving. Because he stopped believing in God, he stopped honoring Him as holy.
It happened to Moses once and he missed the promised land. How many times do we forget to honor Christ as holy in our hearts (1 Peter 3:15)? What circumstances make us stopped believing in God and disobey a bit? To know what steal our faith and our obedience is a big step towards victory and obedience.
I know for myself that when I feel betrayed, when I have trusted someone and I am hurt in return, I forget to honor Christ as holy in my heart. When I face injustice, I want to deal with it now. I don’t want to wait for the Lord. I stop believing that He will vindicate me, that he will bring forth justice. I strike and strike again with my words and my thoughts. I stop honoring Christ as Lord. I become my own Lord.
That’s what Moses did. He became his own God and deny the holy one of Israel. Every time we choose to take things in our hands we deny Him. And yes, we don’t commit sexual immorality or steal or kill. We are just angry and hurt. God will surely understand. I am sure He understands our hurts and anger. But I am also sure that He doesn’t understand our unbelief and our contempt for His holiness.
Let’s cleanse our hearts, renounce our unbelief and revere Christ as Lord in our mind, thoughts, hearts and feelings. Let’s give Him the glory He deserves.