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In Case You Missed It -- Numbers 20-21, Psalm 87

Moses has been God’s chosen prophet for Israel to deliver them from Egypt, receive the law, and begin the march towards God’s land of promise. In all of this, Moses has consistently, though not perfectly, walked in faithfulness with God and with love towards Israel. Today’s reading details the event that led God to forbid Moses from entering the promised land. But what exactly is the problem? After another example of Israel complaining about what they lack—water, in this instance—God directs Moses to command a rock to give forth water (Number 20:8). Instead of just commanding the rock, Moses strikes the rock twice (Numbers 20:11). In disobeying God’s specific commands for this event, Moses tries to replay the past, following instructions for a different time God drew water from a rock (Exodus 17:6). Though this might seem inconsequential to us, remember just how much God has done for Moses and how Moses knows to obey God in His every word. If God is going to give water from a rock to quench the thirst of thousands upon thousands, it is a good idea to do exactly as God says. At the heart of scripture’s story we find all sorts of terrible predicaments precisely because people ignore God’s word. As we read, let us take God at his word.

Jeremiah Vaught