Missing God’s BEST through disobedience
February 15 Bible Reading: Numbers Chapters 19-21
After thirty-eight years at Kadesh Barnea, the Israelites prepared to resume the journey to Canaan but this time by following a route south of the Dead Sea and through Edom (20:14). Before this took place several incidents occurred in rapid succession. Miriam died and was buried at Kadesh (20:1); the people ran out of water and Moses, enraged by their incessant complaining, struck the rock twice from which God promised water if Moses only spoke the word (20:2–13); and Moses tried without success to get permission from the king of Edom to pass through his land on the so-called King’s Highway (20:14–21).
Though understandable, Moses’ loss of temper displeased the Lord and resulted in his being unable to enter the Promised Land (Num. 20:12; 27:14; Deut. 3:26–27). Moses’ disobedience as Israel’s leader had damaged not only his own reputation in the eyes of the people but the Lord’s reputation as well. We note that God continued to be in control as He led His people even by denying Moses and Aaron entry into the Promised Land.
Such punishment for what might seem to be a relatively minor offense underscores the principle that God expects more of those to whom He entrusts responsibility than He does from others. Jesus said, “From everyone who has been given much shall much be required” (Luke 12:48). Through this incident it is clear that God’s work and power only depends on those dynamic leaders who are willing to take instructions from Him always and glorify Him through their ministry.