God’s Way: Hitting the Rock

“Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.” (Numbers 20:11)

Yesterday, we saw the Moses’ crucial mistake had two parts. First, apparently angry with the people for their rebellion, Moses seems to take credit for bringing the water from the rock. Next, he doesn’t do what God told him to—talk to the rock. Instead, he hits it. Twice.

rockwater_350We could spend a lot of time looking at why Moses did it his way instead of God’s. His sister had just died. He was fed up with the people. God had, in fact, told Moses to use the staff for hitting the rock 40 years earlier. Was Moses tired? Confused? Was it a crime of passion?

I think it tells us something that the passage tells us nothing about why Moses did it. He just did it. He just disobeyed. Period. And God held him responsible. Too often, I think, we let ourselves off the hook for disobedience because we think the reason for our wrong behavior was understandable, as if understanding the circumstances should maybe relieve us of the responsibility.

Moses was God’s most trusted servant, but his disobedience was not overlooked. And neither is ours.

Think: Do you sometimes excuse your wrong behavior because of the circumstances? As Christians, our sins are forgiven in Christ, but does that mean those sins don’t matter? Should we take them seriously? Does God?

Pray: Ask God to help you to be honest with yourself about what is sin in your life, even when you can see how the circumstances contributed to you choice.

Do: Notice this week how people deflect responsibility for sinful choices by blaming their circumstances.