Daily Devotion for February 7, 2017

'Sad, Sober-minded, Heart-broken, Repentant...'

Numbers 20:1-12 NASB
Then the sons of Israel, the whole congregation, came to the wilderness of Zin...There was no water for the congregation, and they assembled themselves against Moses and Aaron. The people thus contended with Moses and spoke, saying, “If only we had perished when our brothers perished before the Lord! Why then have you brought the Lord’s assembly into this wilderness, for us and our beasts to die here? Why have you made us come up from Egypt, to bring us in to this wretched place? It is not a place of grain or figs or vines or pomegranates, nor is there water to drink.” Then Moses and Aaron came in from the presence of the assembly to the doorway of the tent of meeting and fell on their faces. Then the glory of the Lord appeared to them; and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Take the rod; and you and your brother Aaron assemble the congregation and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it may yield its water. You shall thus bring forth water for them out of the rock and let the congregation and their beasts drink.”
So Moses took the rod from before the Lord, just as He had commanded him; and Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly before the rock. And he said to them, “Listen now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?” Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation and their beasts drank.
But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”

Deuteronomy 32:51-52
because you broke faith with Me in the midst of the sons of Israel at the waters of Meribah-kadesh....because you did not treat Me as holy in the midst of the sons of Israel. For you shall see the land at a distance, but you shall not go there, into the land which I am giving the sons of Israel.”

Whenever I read this one story about Moses, I'm always left feeling sad, sober-minded, heart-broken and repentant:
I feel sad because God told Moses exactly what He wanted him to do, but Moses didn't do it. Instead, Moses allowed himself to be influenced by the VERY heated environment he was in the “midst” of (the people were rebelling and complaining “against” him!), and his emotions took over...

I feel sober-minded because it didn't matter to God what everybody else was doing, or that the situation was emotionally charged, difficult, and “against” Moses: to God it only mattered what Moses was doing, and Moses was to OBEY God's instruction so to NOT break “faith” with the Lord...

I feel heart-broken because although the Lord forgave Moses, Moses “did NOT treat (God) as holy” when he disobeyed Him. His disobedience—though few knew about it—caused him to 1) dishonor God, 2) it hurt His intimate walk with the Lord, and 3) it caused him to forfeit blessing (going into the land)...

I feel repentant because I TOO HAVE DONE WHAT MOSES DID! That is, I TOO have broken “faith with” God by disobeying—and it didn't matter what anyone else was doing or saying! Though I am forgiven through faith in Christ (praise the Lord!), EVERY act of chosen disobedience 1) dishonors Him, 2) every act hurts my walk with Him, and 3) disobedience forfeits blessing...

Hmm...

Lord God: may we, Your people, praise Your name for the forgiveness we have through Your Son—AND may we be increasingly desiring to OBEY Your every Word—no matter what's going on in our “midst!” We ask forgiveness for the times we have chosen to disobey Your instruction (help us understand there is never an excuse!), we ask for better understanding of how our every act of disobedience hurts both You and us, and we ask Your Spirit to GROW our ability to glorify You and treat You “as Holy”...through chosen obedience.

We thank You for this account of Moses, Lord: may Your Spirit use it to do purifying work in each of us...

AMEN

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