Week 3: Day 4- Numbers 20:9-11

9 And Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as he commanded him. 10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.

Numbers 20:9-11

Explanation

Here we see Moses’ outburst with the people. Several problems can be seen here.

  1. He struck the rock twice instead of speaking to it as God commanded.
  2. He took credit for the miracle.
  3. He let his anger get out of control.
  4. He was as bad as the people were in the attitude they displayed.

Ironically, he was upset at them for having a wrong attitude, and he displayed his displeasure with their attitude with a bad attitude. He was upset with disobedience, and he in responding he was disobedient.

It was natural for Moses to be frustrated with the sinful, disobedient, ungrateful attitude of the people he lead. The problem was that he displayed some of those same qualities but with pride as well. He began to think that he was the solution instead of God. Therefore, he began to take the credit. He assumed his anger was righteous even though it lead to disobedience.

Application

In trying to solve problems as a leader, we must not begin to think that we are the ultimate solutions to all of the problems. In trying to push God’s agenda where we lead we must become self righteous or arrogant. We must not arrogantly be angered. We must be lead missionally, scripturally, and humbly, while at the same time being bold and optimistic.

And most simply stated, we must obey God.

Response

  1. Have you ever responded to wrongdoing in kind? Unholy anger with unholy anger? Complaining with complaining? Laziness with laziness?
  2. Find a way today to lead those around you to do something scriptural.
  3. Is there an area where you are being disobedient? Stop! Repent! Do right!

Week 3: Day 3- Numbers 20:7-8

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.

Numbers 20:7-8

Explain

Moses and Aaron had rightly and humbly come before God to ask for his help and seek a solution. God had responded with his presence, and He gave them an answer. God told Moses to speak to the rock. That was different than the last time where Moses had struck the rock (Numbers 17:5-7).

Moses had used his staff throughout Exodus and Numbers to part the red sea, turn the Nile to blood, prove his authority from God by making his staff turn to a serpent. Perhaps God asked him to speak to the rock instead of strike the rock so that he would remember that the staff was not supernatural or powerful in itself. The staff did not deliver, supply, or judge. God did. It, like Moses, was a vessel that God used and no more. This was true of the the staff, of Moses, and it’s true of us as well.

Apply

When God uses us to do good things in his name, it is He who does those things. We are vessels He may choose to use. We must remember who we are and who He is. When we do this, we will be more inclined to obey.

Respond

  1. Have you ever tried to take credit for what God is doing through you or around you?
  2. Take a few moments today to pray and ask God to keep you humble and to use you so that He gets glory.

Week 3: Day 2- Numbers 20:6

And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto them.

Numbers 20:6

Explanation

Moses and Aaron responded to the rebellious, questioning response of their people by going to God humbly in intercessory prayer, seeking direction from Him. They didn’t know how to respond. God was gracious to them. He didn’t just give them an answer. He gave them His presence. This presence was described here as “the glory of the Lord”.

Application

Leaders who don’t know what to do (and even when we do know what to do) should value God’s solutions. It is right and necessary for godly leaders to get face down before the Lord. We should seek God’s answers in leadership. It is crucial that we glorify God, and when we follow God’s direction He will glorify Himself through our leadership. When we humble ourselves He will be exalted.

Response

  1. Do you spend time with the Lord, interceding for those you are called to lead, even when they are being difficult?
  2. Do you seek God’s direction in your leadership?

Week 3: Day 1- Numbers 20:1-5

Then came the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, into the desert of Zin in the first month: and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there.And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron.And the people chode with Moses, and spake, saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the Lord!And why have ye brought up the congregation of the Lord into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there?And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink.

Numbers 20:1-5

Explanation

Miriam passed away, and this must have been difficult for Moses. Miriam was Moses’ sister. She had been used to sustain Moses’ life in the river. She was a leader in the exodus. She had lead in celebrating Israel’s victory over Egypt after the crossing of the Red Sea. Micah 6:4 even includes her as an influential leader in the exodus.

For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam

Micah 6:4

Her death here is part of the consequences that God had spelled out after the children of Israel chose not to go into the promised land. Everyone age 20 years or older would die other than Moses, Aaron, Joshua and Caleb.

Of course, not having water was a problem. This tempted the people who were still following Moses to organize against him. They said three things:

  1. They should have stayed in Egypt.
  2. They should have died fighting against God.
  3. There is no food or provision here.

Application

2 issues here remind us that leadership is not easy.

First, no matter what happens, we do not shed the responsibilities of leadership or our own personal lives when we lead. We must trust God when we go through tough times. Even though Moses was dealing with the grief of losing Miriam, he still had to deal with this problem. So it is with we who lead.

Second, there is a breaking point for those who follow us. Many of the people that remained had not rebelled before. They had followed Moses up until this point. But when things got really bad they complained. How bad would thing have to get for me to complain? Do I trust in God and obey Him no matter how hard it gets?

Response

  1. Make the case for doing the right things.
  2. Have courage to say the right things.
  3. Have discernment to know when, how, and who to influence to do the right things.
  4. Don’t complain about what is wrong. Work to fix problems and do what is right!