“Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the entrance of the tent of meeting and fell on their faces. And the glory of the LORD appeared to them, “Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So you shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their cattle.” And Moses took the staff from before the LORD, as he commanded him.”
Despite the complaining of the people for lack of water, God mercifully provides for them in verse 9. Only, Moses doesn’t end up doing what God says. Just a few verses later, Moses strikes the rock with his staff twice, rather than speaking to it as God instructed.
What happened? Did Moses forget?
God sees it as sin, so he rebukes Moses in verse 12: “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.”
No, Moses did not forget. He refused to trust God, and both He and Aaron suffer the consequences of being denied entry into the Promised Land. He refused to trust God’s way–which in this case, sounded a little strange. Just talk to a rock, tell water to come out of it.
So instead, he uses his staff and hits the rock. Well, if there’s water in there, it makes sense to hit it and make a nice crack for the water…right?
Exactly. The natural, sinful human mind hears commands like “tell water to come out of that rock” and thinks, “that’s crazy. There’s no way that’s possible”. It then proceeds to find a “better” solution that makes more “rational” sense–like hitting a rock with a staff.
It’s easy to mock Moses in this story, or shake our head at him, but in this little episode, we’re Moses. You and I do the same thing with God. We prefer to cling to the things that make logical sense to us, rather than put our full trust in the One who can do all things.
It’s our unbelief that’s the real, underlying problem of humanity. We would much rather trust ourselves and our own five senses than God.
But all Moses has to do was command the water to come out. That’s it. If he had just done that, he wouldn’t have lost the opportunity of seeing the Promised Land. How many things are we missing out on from God because we refuse to trust Him? How much of our pain, hurt, or frustration could be avoided if we just chose to trust God, even when it didn’t make sense?
With trusting in God through the Person of Jesus Christ comes the greater reward. How can you trust God today? Are you really willing to do whatever He says, even if it sounds crazy?