great miracle, great tragedy

marmsky March 2018 (18)

great miracle, great tragedy

Devotions from Jefferson Vann # 2324

Numbers 20:1-13

Num 20:1 And the people of Israel, the whole congregation, came into the desert of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh. And Miriam died there and was buried there.
Num 20:2 Now there was no water for the congregation. And they collected themselves together against Moses and against Aaron.
Num 20:3 And the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Would that we had perished when our brothers perished in the sight of Yahveh!
Num 20:4 Why have you brought the collected assembly of Yahveh into this wilderness, that we should die here, both we and our animals?
Num 20:5 And why have you made us come up out of Egypt to bring us to this evil place? It is no place for grain or figs or vines or pomegranates, and there is no water to drink.”
Num 20:6 Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the collected assembly to the entrance of the conference tent and fell on their faces. And the impressive appearance of Yahveh appeared to them,
Num 20:7 and Yahveh spoke to Moses, and this is what he said,
Num 20:8 “Take the staff, and collect the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock in the sight of their eyes to yield its water. So you will bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their animals.”
Num 20:9 And Moses took the staff from in the sight of Yahveh, as he commanded him.
Num 20:10 Then Moses and Aaron collected the assembly together in the sight of the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels: will we bring water for you out of this rock?”
Num 20:11 And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock.
Num 20:12 And Yahveh said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you will not bring this collected assembly into the land that I have given them.”
Num 20:13 This is the water of Meribah, where the people of Israel quarreled with Yahveh, and through them he showed himself holy.

great miracle, great tragedy

This passage combines a great miracle with a great tragedy. The people assemble against Moses and Aaron, and they both come into the LORD’s presence for instructions. He tells them to take Aaron’s staff and speak to a rock and it will provide the water that the community needs.

Instead of following those orders exactly, in anger, Moses speaks to the people and strikes the rock twice with the staff. The water flowed, but so did condemnation. As a result of this failure, neither Moses nor Aaron would enter the promised land when the nation returned to it.

LORD, teach us how to stay calm and committed to obeying your instructions.



About Jefferson Vann

Jeff is a former Christian missionary.
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