“Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.” Numbers 20:12
Following God isn’t easy, let’s just be honest about that truth. It isn’t easy because we don’t see, think, speak or quite honestly do anything at the level God does. He’s higher and He sees things from an eternal perspective which we will never understand while we are here on earth. That’s why faith is critical. The only way to follow God is to believe in the core of who you are that God loves you and has a plan for the world and you are part of that plan.
Moses was part of God’s plan and it was an uphill struggle from the moment he was called. God placed a call on Moses that he was uninterested in having. In Exodus 3, God comes to Moses in the form of a burning bush and tells him that the pain of the people is not unnoticed by God and he, Moses, is part of the plan to bring deliverance. God lays out the plan in quite a bit of detail and Moses launches into a list of reasons why he isn’t the right person for this call. God does not relent and meets every argument Moses has with how He is going to work it out.
Moses does, in fact, lead God’s people out of captivity and it is a long and hard journey. Moses meets resistance after resistance from God’s people. The level of discouragement in the Moses had to be deep. I’m sure in the quiet moments between he and God, he reminded God of all the reasons he was STILL the wrong person for the job of deliverer. God had laid a large promise in front of him and I don’t think he ever fully bought in to the process or the promise. Much like Jonah, he went because he knew that God was behind the work, he just wished God had used someone else.
From the beginning, Moses was a reluctant leader. Throughout the entire exodus out of Egypt, you catch glimpses of his disobedience to his call in his attitude and words. And in his defense, the people of God did nothing but complain over and over again about the conditions. It doesn’t appear that anyone is really buying into this plan of God’s and yet, God’s plan is still being played out because it’s God’s plan. Numbers 20 begins with the people complaining that there is no water. Moses goes to God to find an answer only Moses doesn’t follow God’s answer. God tells him to, “tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water.” (Numbers 20: 8) How awesome is this going to be?! God is going to provide water for His people just by Moses SPEAKING to the rock! Only Moses doesn’t quite do what God asked.
Moses goes to the people and instead of following God, he decides to change the plan. Moses goes before the people and he says, “’Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?’ 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.” (Numbers 20:10-11) Not only did Moses not follow God’s instructions by merely speaking to the rock for water, Moses took credit for the water and didn’t bring any glory to God. Because of his rebellion, and I’m sure his overall heart condition towards this call of God in the first place, God bans him from entering the promised land. I can’t even imagine the heartbreak for Moses in this moment.
Friends, don’t miss the promise God has given you because the call feels too hard. A call given by God is inherently too hard for you, and never too hard for God. He knows what He is doing so have faith and follow well. Your life may not look at all like you ever expected but you don’t want to miss out on the promise. No matter how crazy the call, like speaking water out of a rock, believe it is possible and follow God.
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