In reading our last two parashahs (39 and 40), we came across several harsh truths – all of which point to the importance of OBEDIENCE to God.
In Numbers 20: 2-5 (and also in Numbers 21), we got to see YHWH's people whining (again!), ultimately making Him angry enough to send vipers to kill many! It didn't seem to matter how many miracles they saw Him perform, the moment they encountered hardships, they would grumble and whine and make demands....
(Isn't that how we humans tend to react whenever things don't go our way? "God, WHY are You doing this to me?" Never mind that we're in a lost world where bad things happen to good people and every experience is a learning experience designed to make us wiser and stronger, preparing us for the Kingdom.)
Anyway, in Numbers 20, we begin to see why Moshe and Aharon didn't make it into the Promised Land. (For those who have never read these chapters, this is very important!)
You see, in verses 8-13, we were once again reminded that YHWH is not kidding around when He demands our trust and obedience! Here is how things unfolded:
Numbers 20: 8 "Take the staff, assemble the community, you and Aharon your brother; and before their eyes, tell the rock to produce its water. You will bring them water out of the rock and thus enable the community and their livestock to drink." 9 Moshe took the staff from the presence of ADONAI, as he had ordered him. 10 But after Moshe and Aharon had assembled the community in front of the rock, he said to them, "Listen here, you rebels! Are we supposed to bring you water from this rock?" (CJB)
WHOAH! ""Listen here, you rebels! Are we supposed to bring you water from this rock?"
What's this "we" stuff? Since when was Moshe equal to God?
Numbers 20:11 Then Moshe raised his hand and hit the rock twice with his staff. Water flowed out in abundance, and the community and their livestock drank. 12 But ADONAI said to Moshe and Aharon, "Because you did not trust in me, so as to cause me to be regarded as holy by the people of Isra'el, you will not bring this community into the land I have given them." 13 This is M'rivah Spring [Disputation Spring], where the people of Isra'el disputed with ADONAI, and he was caused to be regarded as holy by them.
NOW - note what happened to Moshe as a result of his disobedience! Moshe and the High Priest Aharon were the holiest men on earth at the time - and because of their occasional failure to TRUST in YHWH, they did NOT get to enter the Promised Land. (And today we think that we can get away with anything, just because we "believe"....)
This parashah is a powerful example of the high expectation YHWH has for His leaders, and it's sad that many back then, and most today are not paying attention! Many today are under the erroneous impression that they are "under grace" and therefore don't really have to bother with all those "old rules"....HUGE MISTAKE!
Numbers 20: 12 But ADONAI said to Moshe and Aharon, "Because you did not trust in me, so as to cause me to be regarded as holy by the people of Isra'el, you will not bring this community into the land I have given them.
BOOM! There it is! YHWH just told Moshe and Aharon they weren't going to get to cross over into the Promised Land....
Kinda makes one think a little bit, doesn't it? I doubt that ANY of us is as holy and obedient as Moshe was. And we definitely cannot compare ourselves to Messiah Yeshua. Therefore, we truly need to take some time to reassess ourselves on a regular basis....
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