Read Numbers 19
The judgment of God falls on the disobedient sons of the High Priest, resulting in their terrible death. A nation seals its own fate by refusing to help the people of God. How gloriously Christ is typified twice in today's reading.
Moses took the rod as the Lord commanded him, but from that point on there was a mixture of Moses' feelings and the will of God. The Lord spake unto Moses, saying . . . speak ye unto the rock . . . and it shall give forth his water. . . . And Moses . . . said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly. The people were pleasantly satisfied — even Moses — until the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed Me not, to sanctify Me (regard My Word as sufficient) in the eyes of the children of Israel . . . ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them (Num. 20:7-12). Anger and self-will destroy much, much more than at first appears.
Moses was satisfied when the water came forth and the people's needs were met. Undoubtedly the people were delighted and impressed by Moses' ability to provide for their thirst, but God was not satisfied. Today much attention is placed on man's ability to meet our needs, but few seem concerned whether Christ is satisfied.
Moses was not "obedient" when he angrily shouted: Must we fetch you water; nor was he obedient when he smote the rock twice. The abundance of water satisfied the people as well as Moses; but God was displeased. The Apostle Paul knew the difference between his personal desires and the leading of God when he said: I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (I Cor. 9:27).
Although he knew that only the power of God could bring forth water, Moses smote the rock rather than speak to it as he had been commanded. Some know that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect (well-prepared to be) throughly furnished (adequately equipped) unto all good works (II Tim. 3:16-17), yet they foolishly rely on their own "good judgment" and keep "too busy" to read all Scripture. The fearful warning from God is that the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the Truth, and shall be turned (from Biblical Truth) unto fables (man-inspired religious fiction) (II Tim. 4:3-4).
Thought for Today:
Teach me Thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies (Ps. 27:11).
Through the rock that Moses struck (Ex. 17:6; Num. 20:8-11). Christ, our Rock, who was struck once through His death on the cross, does not need to be struck again. That spiritual Rock (Petra) that followed (accompanied) them . . . was Christ (I Cor. 10:4). For in that He died, He died unto sin once (Rom. 6:10).
19:6 hyssop a bushy plant used for cleansing; 20:3 chode argued; 20:12 sanctify Me uphold Me in reverential honor; 20:13 strove contended; 20:14 travail hardship; 20:15 vexed afflicted; dealt harshly with.
Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Charles Boustany (LA), Rep. Phil Hare (IL), Rep. John Lewis (GA), and Sen. Olympia Snowe (ME) • Country: Tunisia (10 million) in North Africa • Major languages: Arabic and French • Islamic state — no open ministry for Christ is permitted; strict surveillance of all Christian activities • 99+% Muslim; .3% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Rejoice that our Savior lives (John 20:15-18).
Optional Reading: Luke 8
Memory Verse for the Week: Exodus 20:5