Wednesday, March 10
My best life
Scripture: Numbers 19-20, Psalm 30, Matthew 10
Numbers 20:7–12 The Lord said to Moses, 8 “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.”
9 So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence, just as he commanded him. 10 He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” 11 Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.
12 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.”
Psalm 30:5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
Why did Moses do it? The Lord gave him clear directions: speak to the rock. Instead, Moses spoke to the people and struck the rock. And his words suggested that he was the one bringing water out of the rock, not the Lord. Perhaps he was angry and frustrated with the people—anger never makes you smarter! Perhaps he remembered the last time he got water from a rock by striking it, and thought he’d do it that way again—encore! Perhaps he didn’t trust the Lord that just speaking to the rock and not striking it would be enough. Perhaps he was careless. But for whatever reason, he took matters in his own hands, did it his way and disobeyed the Lord.
The Lord said that he didn’t trust God or honor God as holy. And for this single act of disobedience, Moses and Aaron were barred from the Promised Land. Seems harsh. It’s certainly a reminder that leaders face a higher standard (see James 3).
Psalm 30:5 reminds us that God’s anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime. How do we reconcile that with this story? It seems like God’s anger lasted a lifetime for them! While Moses and Aaron didn’t get to see the Promised Land in their lifetimes on earth, they are alive to God (See Matthew 22:32) and got to see it from His perspective.
It made me think of my son Jeff who died just before his 23rd birthday. I’ve often thought of how much he missed—much like what Moses and Aaron missed. My confidence is that Jeff is with the Lord, and somehow being in God’s presence more than makes up for what he missed here. Rejoicing comes in the morning—in Jeff’s case (and for Moses and Aaron) in the “morning” of waking up in God’s presence.
All of this also reminds me of how fragile life is, that it can change—or end—in a moment. We make our plans, but God directs our steps. I want to live my life full on for Jesus, never taking a moment for granted. And I want to trust and obey, do the will of God moment by moment—that will be my best life!
Prayer: Lord, here’s my life. You know the number of days. Help me live each one fully for You. Help me live to do the will of God. May Your kingdom come, may Your will be done in my life.