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 20:12
Moses missed his anger management classes!
When we think about the great liberator of Israel, we think of a courageous and meek man of God. Did Moses fulfill God’s call? He did. Did he enjoy the fruit of his labor? No, he did not. Studying Moses life as a biography teaches us a few things.
Moses knew someday he would liberate his people, the people of Israel. But in his younger years, he was hasty and did not seek God’s strategy: he killed an Egyptian while defending an Israelite. Moses ran into the wilderness in shame. Forty years later, Moses stood in God’s presence, manifested in a burning bush. Here, God commanded that he remove the sandals on his feet because he was standing on holy ground.
Consequently, God called him to liberate the people of Israel, and began to give him instruction but Moses resisted. It was evident He was focused on his own strength and performance, rather than the Lords ability and power. Moses received instruction from the Lord, a partner named Aaron, and some private training in miracle workings, and delivered the people from the captivity of Egypt. But as soon as he did, the people disappointed Moses and he smashed the stones where God had written the 10 commandments. He went up to Mount Sinai to have God rewrite the 10 commandments.
In Numbers 20:8, the Lord instructed Moses to speak to the rock so that it may pour water, but Moses did not. Moses struck the rock twice! In his defense, the people of Israel were a hard people to manage (Numbers 20:3-13) and after putting up with their criticism and murmuring, he was just about fed up with the rebels! Or maybe Moses acted on impulse, and struck the rock as the Lord had instructed in the past… but it cost him the promised land. He only saw it from far away.
Moses was prevented from entering the Promised Land. He was the man of God, but the Lord judged his sin.
My God, I ask you for mercy! You are just, even when things do not seem fair to us. You are God after all, and you judge us according to your righteousness. I pray you help us all to maintain our composure in the face of any attack, so that we may not miss the promises you have for us. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.