Now immediately my mind went to Numbers 20 when God asks Moses to speak to a rock so that water would spring from it, but them Moses makes a colossal mistake and HITS the rock. This disobedience resulted in Moses never being able to go into the Promise Land... So sad.
Well, how the heck is that encouraging? Was God trying to tell me we are being disobedient and we're not going to go into the Promise Land???
So I was looking up the scripture reference so I could thoroughly examine it and saw Exodus 17 pop up. This was actually the first time God sprung water from the rock for Moses. You see, the Israelites were thirsty and started complaining... Now I have a lot of grace for the Israelites. They came out of the only place they ever known, not really knowing or understanding God and God is using all these opportunities to show them that he is the one true God. So I get the fact that they were complaining. They just didn't know or understand... But Moses seeing that a potential mob uprising, probably concerned and frustrated by the people's response and probably more than a little out of his depth, goes to the Lord. The Lord says, "Hit that rock with the walking stick and water will come out of it. Then the people can drink.” So probably a little unsure if it will work, but trusting God enough to take the faith step, he does what he was told and VOILA! Water from the rock! Amazing, right? What a faith builder that must have been.
Fast forward probably YEARS. There is this on-again/off-again thing with the people trusting God. They are so fickle in some ways. I mean Moses went up this mountain to meet with the Lord and after some time went by, they got nervous fell back into idol worship (among other things). So Moses comes down with these tablets called the 10 commandments. I mean... they weren't using paper here. He was chiseling it into stone. I wonder how LONG that took? But anyway, the people now had some solid guidelines to go by.... but what happens when you feel like "things never change"?
Here we are again (Numbers 20)... no water.... AGAIN! At this point so many feeling would be going through one's mind...
"things never change"...
maybe, "things always are hard"...
possibly, "if God is real then we wouldn't have the same problems"...
and on... and on... and on...
I wonder what Moses thought as the people slowly formed into a mob? I wonder if he was frustrated at God more than the people this time?
This time the Lord tells Moses, "Speak to the rock in front of the people. Then water will flow from the rock, and you can give that water to the people and to their animals.” So when he gets there, what does he do? He HITS the rock and the consequences are BIG.
I don't know what Moses was thinking when this happened. I have no idea! But the Lord spoke this word to me this morning and this is what I believe he was imparting to me/us.
We are about to reboot some past programs we have trialed in YWAM Ember Ink. They are familiar and may have the same challenges. We have personal struggles (all of us do) which seem like "same-old, same-old". But the question we should be asking is, "What is GOD saying?"
I can almost put myself in Moses' sandals... He is in the same place he was years back, saw God provide and had the story - the memory. Now God asks him to do a SIMILAR thing but not the same. There is maybe a sort of logic that the physical hitting of the rock could produce water... maybe it was a weak point in the rock... how else would it have cracked and opened up?
I imagine he was wondering how it would even crack open if he just spoke to the rock... or that he knows God has done it before in a certain way/method... or maybe that the fear of it not working meant that he couldn't hear God and the people would turn on him. For whatever reason, he HIT that rock. And his lack of faith and trust was acted upon. He didn't take a faith step like before, he chose to step out in fear laced with a sort-of God element.
How incredibly dangerous that is. Its enabling our fear and misguiding those around us. It robs us of our inheritance and puts a cap on what God can do in your life. And ultimately, its sad... because there was so much more.
The challenge I walk away with is...
- What is God saying?
- What am I afraid of?
- Am I limiting God to working only one way in my life?
- Am I bound by fear of others?
- Do I carry a perspective of "here we go again" expecting everything to fail?
- Am I continuing to step out in faith? In new ways?
- Am I exercising my trust in the Lord?
- Am I letting my logic interfere with the things God is challenging me in?
- With each circumstance, who am I in the story? The Israelites? Or Moses?
- How do I regularly examining my heart?
Don't miss out on the things God has for you... and I'll aim to do the same.