Week 3: Day 5- Numbers 20:12-13

12 And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

13 This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the Lord, and he was sanctified in them.

Numbers 20:12-13

Explanation:

God told Moses and Aaron why he was holding them accountable by not letting them lead the people into the promised land.

  1. They did not trust God.
  2. They did not uphold His holiness in front of the people.

God was not being petty about striking the rock versus speaking to the rock. He expected to be obeyed, trusted, worshipped as holy, and magnified for His provision before the people. Moses, in his anger, failed to do this. He was disobedient. Yet God was gracious to provide the water. Even still, there were consequences.

Application:

The Explore the Bible curriculum says in application to the truth of this passage: “God holds us accountable for our actions. Regardless if we are provoked, emotionally drained, or physically exhausted, no excuse exists for a lack of faithfulness among leaders and followers alike. We are to represent our Lord well in this world.”

Response:

  1. Would you be comfortable with being imitated by those you influence this past week?
  2. Is there an area of your life that you need to be obedient in where disobedience is the pattern?
  3. Take a few moments to search your heart, and confess disobedience and unfaithfulness to the Lord.

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!