Numbers 20:1-29; Luke 1:1-7; Psalms 57:1-3; Proverbs 15:33
OT: “The entire Israelite community entered the Wilderness of Zin in the first month, and they settled in Kadesh. Miriam died and was buried there. There was no water for the community, so they assembled against Moses and Aaron. The people quarreled with Moses and said, “If only we had perished when our brothers perished before the Lord… Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the doorway of the tent of meeting. They fell facedown, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. The Lord spoke to Moses, “Take the staff and assemble the community. You and your brother Aaron are to speak to the rock while they watch, and it will yield its water. You will bring out water for them from the rock and provide drink for the community and their livestock.” So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence just as he had commanded him. Moses and Aaron summoned the assembly in front of the rock, and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels! Must we bring water out of this rock for you?” Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with his staff, so that abundant water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust me to demonstrate my holiness in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this assembly into the land I have given them.”” (Numbers 20:1-3, 6-12 CSB)
Once again, we read a familiar story: as soon as the Israelites faced difficulty, they began complaining and wished they were back in Egypt. At this point, the nation of Israel had been wandering in the wilderness for decades. As always, Moses went before the Lord to seek His wisdom and instructions. Previously, when God provided water from a rock, He had Moses strike the rock with his staff. This time, God gave Moses different instructions. Moses, instead of striking the rock as before, was to simply speak to the rock. For some reason, Moses disobeyed God’s clear instructions. First, Moses called the people a bunch of rebels. Then instead of giving credit to God, Moses said that he and Aaron were going to bring water out of the rock. Finally, instead of speaking to the rock, Moses struck it, not just once, but two times in defiance. Perhaps if he had struck it once and noticed that water didn’t come out, and then repented, things may have been different – but he struck it a second time. Despite Moses’ disobedience, God still had mercy on the people and provided water, but Moses and Aaron would have to pay the consequences of their error. God was wanting to paint a prophetic picture by having Moses speak to the rock, and by Moses disobedience, the prophetic moment was lost. It is very important, that when God calls us to do or say something, we do it or say it precisely… without adding or subtracting from it with our own decisions or opinions. Complete trust is what God is looking for.
Psalms: “Be gracious to me, God, be gracious to me, for I take refuge in you. I will seek refuge in the shadow of your wings until danger passes. I call to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. He reaches down from heaven and saves me, challenging the one who tramples me. Selah God sends his faithful love and truth.” (Psalms 57:1-3 CSB)
Though David physically fled from his enemies by retreating into a cave, his true refuge was the Lord God. It was the Lord that hemmed him in on every side. It was the Lord who covered him. It was the Lord who instructed him and guided him. It was the Lord who protected him and preserved him through dangerous times. David could completely trust and did completely trust the ever faithful God.
Proverbs: “The fear of the Lord is what wisdom teaches, and humility comes before honor.” (Proverbs 15:33 CSB)
The fear of the Lord (complete trust in and respect for the word, will, and ways of the God) is the way of wisdom. Those who choose to humble themselves by submitting to the Lord will be lifted up by the Lord and honored by Him.