God’s Way: Listen You Rebels

“So Moses took the staff from the LORD’s presence, just as he commanded him. He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, ‘Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?’ ” (Numbers 20:9-10)

Moses sounds mad, angry, ticked off. He had been shepherding the Israelites around the wilderness for 40 years, and they never really seemed to stop questioning everything he did. God had made him their leader, but they almost always found a reason to doubt him—and to doubt God. It probably didn’t help that Moses’ sister Miriam had just recently died.

rockwater_350So with the power of God in his hands in the form of that holy staff, Moses tells them off for a change, calling them rebels. His anger would be understandable, but he made a critical error. He allowed his feelings to derail his trust in God.

His first mistake seems to be that he’s about to take credit for giving the people water, even though that’s obviously something only God could do. Having taken their abuse and blame for the lack of water—something beyond his control, as well—he apparently wanted to take credit for giving them water (while pointing out that, as “rebels,” they didn’t deserve it).

Think: Has your justifiable anger over someone else’s wrong actions or attitude ever caused you to sin, as well? Why does anger make us vulnerable to making foolish choices? What do you do to try to control your anger and keep from sinning?

Pray: Ask God to help you not to allow your anger to lead you into foolish and sinful choices.

Do: Read what Paul wrote about anger and sin in Ephesians 4:26-27.