LISTEN: Just Looking for a Home, Part 6 (The Covenant & the Cross #87 with Daniel Whyte III)
We always like to start out with the Word of God, and today’s passage of Scripture is Numbers 20:9-12 which reads: “And Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as he commanded him. 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? 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. 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.”
Allow me to share with you some commentary on this passage from the Reformation Study Bible by Dr. R.C. Sproul:
In his exasperation with Israel, Moses acted presumptuously and failed to honor the holiness of God. After years of constant service and unparalleled patience Moses fell at his strongest point: (a) he spoke in anger; (b) he usurped the place of God, saying, “Shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” and (c) he acted violently, striking the rock twice, when God had told him only to speak to it. God’s word of judgment is directed to both Moses and Aaron, for Aaron had accompanied Moses and was implicated in the rashness of his brother’s action. Their ministry was coming to an end.
Today’s Covenant & the Cross quote about the Bible is from John Wesley. He said: “I want to know one thing, the way to heaven: how to land safe on that happy shore. God himself has condescended to teach the way; for this very end he came from heaven. He has written it down in a book! Oh, give me that book! At any price, give me the book of God! I have it: here is knowledge enough for me. Let me be: ‘A man of one book.’”
Our topic for today is titled “Just Looking for a Home (Part 6)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin. And, I want to remind you to take advantage of our special offer. If you enjoy this podcast, please feel free to purchase a copy of this book — “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin. It is available on our website for just $20.
Interspersed with the accounts of Korah’s rebellion, there are several other passages giving further specifications regarding the duties of the community in their covenant with God as their suzerain. There are specifics regarding offerings, the Sabbath, the duties of the Levites, the red heifer, and aspects of uncleanness. The structure of this material gives the appearance of its being added as events occurred or as truths were revealed. This feature supports our observation that Numbers is basically a travelogue that was being added to the canon as the people journeyed on.
Near the end of this period, Miriam died and was buried. This event occurred at Kadesh, but it seems to have been a different place than Kadesh Barnea.
The final incident in this section is Moses’ major sin. After the people grumbled because of a lack of water, Moses was told to speak to the rock in order to bring forth water. Instead, Moses said, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” He then struck the rock twice with his staff. As a result of this act, Moses was told that he would not be able to enter the land.
These events served to remind the original audience (as well as all future generations) that God was serious in His claims. There was no room for pretenders or false claims of authority. It did not matter whether the one making the claim was the established high priest (Aaron) or just a member of the “masses” (Korah), God did not tolerate false pride. Neither was there any favoritism with him. Despite all that Moses had done (or perhaps even because of it), pretension on his part was dealt with directly and somewhat harshly. At the same time, God did not hold grudges. Aaron, despite his having joined Miriam in rebellion, was still the anointed high priest—and God defended that position by causing his staff to bloom. Moses, despite his failure in striking the rock, was still the designated leader—and would take the people on to the land (even though he was restricted from entering). This information would serve to encourage future generations who found themselves straying from God’s ways. They knew that God would not arbitrarily reject them for making mistakes. Of course, the other side of the coin was that they could be sure that God would judge them for failing to obey.
The punishment Moses was given seems to be out of proportion to the transgression; however, we are not privy to the tone of his declaration nor to what was going through his mind. His behavior seems to indicate an attitude of superiority, and his use of the word “we” seems to suggest that he was beginning to identify too closely with God against the people. Regardless, we do not see Moses protesting the punishment, and he continued to lead the people toward their destination.
Let’s Pray —
Before we close, dear friend, I want to remind you that the most important thing you should know about the Bible is that it is the story of God working to save humanity from sin and the consequences of sin. He did this by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins and take the punishment that we deserve on Himself. Romans 5:8 says, “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today, here’s how.
All you have to do is believe “that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” and you will be saved. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will.
Until next time, remember the word of God is the foundation to a successful life. God bless.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.