Moses

Moses

According to what we read in Numbers (20:1-12) Moses did not enter the promised land because of his sin at the Waters of Meribah, which took place during the last year of the Israelites' wandering in the wilderness. In this week's reading, however, it seems that Moses' not entering the land had to do with the sin of the spies, which took place during the Israelites' second year in the wilderness. In the context of his rebuke to the Israelites regarding the affair of the spies (Deut. 1:37-38) Moses complains that he, too, was punished on their account and denied entry into the land. "Because of you the Lord was incensed with me, too, and he said: You shall not enter it either. Joshua son of Nun, who attends you, he shall enter it. Imbue him with strength, for he shall allot it to Israel."

InNumbers 20:8, the Lord told Moses, "Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink."Numbers 20:9-11records Moses' response: "So Moses took the staff from the LORD's presence, just as He commanded him. He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, ‘Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?’ Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank." The Lord was displeased with Moses’ actions: “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them” (Numbers 20:12).

What did Moses do that warranted such a severe penalty from the Lord? First, Moses disobeyed a direct command from God. God had commanded Moses to speak to the rock. Instead, Moses struck the rock with his staff. Second, Moses took the credit for bringing forth the water. Notice how in verse 10 Moses says, "Must we [referring to Moses and Aaron] bring you water out of this rock?" Moses took credit for the miracle himself, instead of attributing it to God. Third, Moses committed this sin in front of all the Israelites. Such a public example of direct disobedience could not go unpunished. Fourth, it seems that God had intended to present a type of Christ in this circumstance. The water-giving rock is used as a symbol of Christ in1 Corinthians 10:4. The rock was struck once inExodus 17:6, just like Christ was crucified once (Hebrews 7:27). Moses’ speaking to the rock inNumbers 20was to be a picture of prayer; instead, Moses angrily struck the rock, in effect, crucifying Christ again. His punishment for disobedience, pride, and the misrepresentation of Christ’s sacrifice was that he was barred from entering the Promised Land (Numbers 20:12).
Moses  Moses Reviewed by Kannuri JOEL on 23:48:00 Rating: 5

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