Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Numbers, Chapters 18-20 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Numbers 20: 5-12: … [A Serious Oops!!!] … 6 Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the tent of meeting and fell facedown, and the glory of the LORD appeared to them. 7 The LORD said to Moses, 8 “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.”
9 So Moses took the staff from the LORD’s presence, just as he commanded him. 10 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?” 11 Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.
12 But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “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.”
My Journal for Today: Well, there are a number of good application points I could blog about from today’s chronological read through Numbers, Chapter 18-20. Certainly a discussion about tithing or spiritual giving and its role in supporting God’s Priesthood (see Numbers 18) would be a worthy discussion, especially since God’s people today, i.e., the Church, don’t take tithing nearly as seriously as we should.
However, it was Moses’ brief – but very significant – backslide into sinfulness, described in the highlight passage copied above, which God seemed to draw me to blogging attention this morning.
Wow! Sometimes I just have a bit of trouble understanding God’s justice. But that shouldn’t be surprising to me, should it? God is God; and I – most certainly – am not. And why would I think that I could – or should – be able to judge or understand much of what God decides to do. I know; … that’s God’s lesson from Isaiah 55: 8-9 (and if you don’t know that one, please study it with this link!). But there is one lesson from Moses’ pridefulness and sin, exhibited in the passage above which doesn’t escape me; and that is that SIN ALWAYS HAS CONSEQUENCES. And unfortunately for Moses, the consequences of his disobedience and prideful rock and water incident there in Kadesh, where the people were poised and ready to go over into the promised land, was that Moses would never get the opportunity to step into that land he had long led the people toward. All that obedience Moses exhibited, for nearly 40 years, wiped out with two pride-filled taps on a rock to give the grumbling Israelites some much needed water. Can’t you just imagine Moses, saying “Oops, Lord, my bad! Please forgive me.” And, of course God did forgive him; but the consequences of that momentary backslide had very serious outcomes.
So, … what do we learn from this truth-bearing scenario? Well, I’m strongly reminded of something I had to learn by a much longer, stronger, and very chronic bout of prideful sinfulness in my life. It was not until I was 40 years old (and the symbolic significance of that length of time does not escape me) that I set aside my chronic double life of sexual sin and was delivered – by my faith – into the loving arms of our Savior, as He became my Lord in 1983. And I believed then, as I know now, that I was (and now am) saved eternally from my past, present, and future sin. However, the consequences all those years, as I walked in prideful and hurtful sinful living, just didn’t go away in that moment of conversion. No, I came to realize that ALL sin has consequences which God uses to shape us into His own image; and sometimes, like with Moses, those consequences can be painful in this life.
So, as I sit here and meditate on the passage I’m focusing on here, … I GET IT! Sin is serious business [!] … because it is an affront to God’s holiness and His love and His grace; and we dishonor the One Who shed His blood to save us from our sin when/if we choose to sin or even when we casually participate in sinful acts. So, when we sin [and, of course, we will], we cannot expect for God to just dismiss our sin whimsically with a brush of His mercy. We need to learn from the lesson of Moses taking God’s power too casually and realize that God pays attention to our heart when we sin. Oh yes, … He will love us in an eternally forgiving manner; but He also loves us enough not to let our sin go by casually without consequences.
My Prayer Today: … Yes, Lord, I do get it; and may I always keep short accounts and come to You for your forgiving grace when I sin; … never taking my sin nature for granted and always remembering what You did in sacrifice to save me from myself. Amen