Scripture Read: Numbers 20 - 27:12 - 23
Title: Moses and Aaron Are Refused Entry Into the Promised Land
(H) Highlight verse: "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.''" Num. 20:7, 8
(E) Explain: As the people of Israel continue to wander in the wilderness they come to a place called Kadesh. In Kadesh Moses' sister Miriam died and was buried there. It was also a desolate place. Once again the people argued with Moses and Aaron about coming to this desolate area. The land would not yield fruit and there was no water. So Moses and Aaron bring this concern to the LORD and He tells them to speak to a rock and the rock would then yield water for all to drink.
Once Moses and Aaron returned from the presence of the LORD Moses yells at the congregation, strikes the rock with his staff and water comes out of it. We find later that since Moses struck the rock instead of speaking to it, that this disqualified Moses and Aaron from entering into the promised land.
Shortly thereafter leaving Kadesh Aaron passed away and his son Eleazer is commissioned by Mosed to succeed his father as High Priest.
Fast forward to chapter 27, God tells Moses to appoint Joshua as his successor. Moses Commissions Joshua as directed by the LORD and thus Joshua is established as the one who will take over as leader once Moses dies.
(A) Application: Disobedience and misrepresenting God is a bad thing. We see this is the case with Moses and Aaron. God gave them a specific command, "Tell the rock to yield water and it will." God never told Moses to chastise the people and he never told him to strike the rock. Since he did this, God punished him. The punishment seems a bit harsh, but I think the point of this passage is that we must be very careful to be obedient to God and we must be mindful of how we represent Him to others. Moses represented God to Israel as being upset and angry with them when in reality God never said He was. He hit a rock in anger, instead of speaking to it thus disobeying God's command.
Now, I don't believe God will punish everyone this harshly when they are disobedient, but there are certainly consequences to our actions of representing God and being obedient to His Word.
(R) Respond: Let us be mindful to be obedient to God when He speaks to us and may we always remember that our word, actions and responses should reflect God in us. We are Christ's representatives on this earth, so in everything we do we should bring glory to God.
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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