Exodus 17:6 (AMP)
Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at [Mount] Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.
This was the first time Moses struck the rock and he followed the specific instructions God gave him.
The children of Israel complained numerous times about many things during their journey out of Egypt; the issue of not having water to drink came up again.
Moses and Aaron went before the Lord for guidance. They didn’t know what else to do with this nation that always found fault during their journey.
God spoke to them again and gave Moses specific instructions.
Numbers 20:7-11 (AMP)
7And the Lord said to Moses, 8Take the rod, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to give forth its water, and you shall bring forth to them water out of the rock; so you shall give the congregation and their livestock drink. 9So Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as He commanded him. 10And Moses and Aaron assembled the congregation before the rock and Moses said to them, Hear now, you rebels; must we bring you water out of this rock? 11And Moses lifted up his hand and with his rod he smote the rock twice. And the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock.
What just happened? God told Moses, “Tell the rock.” But what did Moses do?
God says, “Tell.” But Moses “struck twice.”
Moses allowed his own feelings and emotions play part in God’s work. He tells the people, “Hear now, you rebels; must we bring you water out of this rock?” He was probably fed up dealing with this ungrateful nation. Every time they had an opportunity to tear him down, they were right there ready to say all these negative things. He was probably worn out from all the responsibility he felt he was given.
We fail to understand when we’re doing God’s work, we are the instrument that God uses. The work isn’t about us, but it’s about God and what He’s trying to do through us to fulfill a destiny that will be completed before the coming of Jesus Christ.
Our emotions have to be set aside in order not to take the insults personally. You have to learn to grow thick skin to work in the Kingdom of the Lord. That can only be done by trusting and believing in God.
Numbers 20:12 (AMP)
And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, Because you did not believe in (rely on, cling to) Me to sanctify Me in the eyes of the Israelites, you therefore shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
Moses made many mistakes in his journey he was called out to do. God knows we’re not perfect and we’re going to stumble. He knows there will be days we don’t want to get out of bed and walk with Him. He knows there will be times we’re so discouraged about something that we just want to give up. He knows, He knows, He knows…..
During these down times don’t ever stop believing in the Lord. We will have our low days, but don’t ever lose faith in what the Lord has said. As Paul says, “Keep fighting the good fight.”
I Timothy 6:12 (AMP)
Fight the good fight of the faith; lay hold of the eternal life to which you were summoned and [for which] you confessed the good confession [of faith] before many witnesses.
If even for a moment we stop believing, we can lose everything in an instant. One minor detail of the instruction that we fail to carry out, can alter a tremendous blessing in our life.
Moses and Aaron lost the opportunity of entering the Promised Land because they allowed themselves to take authority of something they had no authority to take. God told them to speak it out and Moses carried out something completely different.
The striking of the rock was the result of his disbelief in God. When we disbelieve, our actions are contrary to God’s Word.
Our goal should be to set aside ourselves and allow the Holy Spirit to move within us in order to get the assignment done.
How will we react when the Lord speaks? Will we do it our way or God’s way?