Scripture: Deuteronomy 32-34, 1 Corinthians 2
Deuteronomy 32:50-51 You will die on that mountain as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor, because both of you were unfaithful to me in the presence of the people of Israel. When you were at the waters of Meribah, near the town of Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin, you dishonored me in the presence of the people.
After all the good Moses did, he still missed out on entering the Promised Land. What did he do wrong?
The story is in Numbers 20:1-13. There was no water for the Israelites and they complained to Moses and Aaron, who took it to the Lord. The Lord told them to take Moses’ staff, gather the people before the rock, and “speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water.” Moses took his staff, gathered the people, but then lost his temper. “Listen you rebels, must we bring water out of this rock?” Then he struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, but the Lord wasn’t pleased. “But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.’” (Numbers 20:12)
So what did Moses do wrong?
First, he failed to trust the Lord. This lack of trust may have been behind his disobedience. God told him to speak to the rock and instead he struck it twice. Whatever it was, God clearly says that Moses failed to trust Him, and this failure led to a second.
Second, he failed to honor God as holy. Or as our verse says, he dishonored the Lord in the presence of the people. Somehow Moses’ behavior dishonored God. Perhaps it was saying, “must we bring water out of this rock,” taking credit for what only God could do.
This is what struck me this morning: does my behavior dishonor God? Reduce Him in the view of others? Reflect poorly on His nature or character or holiness? This was a serious enough infraction that this single event kept Moses from entering the Promised Land. That got my attention.
Today, I want to live in such a way that I honor God in all I do and say.
Prayer: Lord, I want to honor You in all I do and say. Show me what that means and how to do it.