Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Message from Chris Moore, International Department

Believing or Grumbling?

When we look at all the lessons Moses had to learn, I think one experience we can learn a lot from is the one that prevented Moses from entering the earthly promised land. The children of Israel left Egypt 40 years earlier. Most of the original people had died, and only their children and grandchildren remained. Moses, Aaron, Joshua and Caleb were among the remaining few. Sadly, the children of Israel were singing the same grumbling song: ‘Why did you bring the Lord’s community into this desert, that we and our livestock should die here? Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!”(Numbers 20:4-5)

Most of these Israelites had never personally tasted a fig, grape, or pomegranate. They only knew desert life. All they knew about what they were missing was what they learned from their disobedient and grumbling parents. These parents had many stories they could have shared to constantly remind their children of God’s faithfulness. Instead, negative attitudes consumed their hearts. So, tragically, this is what the passed to their children. This is probably what grieved Moses the most as he threw himself facedown before the Lord and asked what to do.

“The Lord said to Moses, “Take your staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to the rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water” (Numbers 20:7-8).

In Exodus 17, God had instructed Moses to strike a rock, and water came out. But this time Moses was to only speak to the rock. God was teaching the people to do what He says, though it makes no sense, and watch Him keep His promises. In Joshua 6, the walls of Jericho fall by the shouts of the people. Therefore, Numbers 20 records a pivotal moment that could have proved to the people that God can use voices – He can bring water from a rock or, as they would later see, tear down walls. But Moses, in his frustration and bad reaction to the peoples’s grumbling, did not obey the Lord. Instead of speaking to the rock, he struck it twice.

The water came, but so did God’s harsh punishment for Moses. “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).

Am I “remembering” and speaking of all the good God has done and is doing in my life or grumbling about everything. What am I passing on to others? Am I believing God at His word and doing what He’s asking of me or am I tweeking it because it makes more sense my way?

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Chris, great words. Thanks so much for a really good reminder. Complaint comes so easily from our lips - good to have this challenge.


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