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- Chapter 20- DO NOT SKIM…it’s the chapter I threw my Bible on Rachel Lovingood’s kitchen table and said “Well, that’s a bunch of “$^!*, you can keep that book”
Our understanding of the true worship of God begins with the sense that he controls and directs true worship; who the priests are and how they function are first his concerns. This means that worship is not a game where we may make up the rules as we play. I see that a lot as churches are changing to fit the people, not people changing to fit the church.
Often we think of worship in terms of what we like and appreciate. This misses the mark; worship is principally for God’s pleasure.
These chapters, although I admit I skimmed a little, are the cleansing of the camp after the rebellion.
OK. where are we?
We are at Kadesh-Barnea. If you stand on your toes, you can see the Promise Land! It has been about 38 years since their elders sent the spies in to assess it. The people are thirsty, they complain, Moses talks to the Lord, the Lord tells him to provide water, he does (with his own little dramatic flare), and Moses is reprimanded and his consequence is “Your ticket is void, you cannot enter the Promise Land” What??? THIS is when I walked over to my mentor’s house and said “This is crap! (may have been a few other choice words for my own dramatic flare). After ALL Moses has done for these stupid people, he makes one little mistake and BAM, he’s out! I don’t stand a chance!”
So I tip-toed back over to her house (she pretended not to see me) and I took my Bible back to wrestle with God over it.
Let’s think for a minute:
- Who brought the plagues to Egypt? God.
- Who redeemed the people from slavery? God.
- Who parted the Red Sea? God.
- Who brought manna, quail, and turned water from bitter to sweet? God.
- Chapter 17…who brought water from the rock? God
- Chapter 20…who brought water from the Rock? God or Moses.
The Lord said to Moses, 8 “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.”
This is a NEW generation. God has patiently waited for the last generation to pass away so that he can continue the plan. This generation did not see God do any of the miracles listed above, they only heard about it. This is a HUGE moment! GOD WILL PROVIDE SO THAT THIS NEW GENERATION KNOWS WHO IS BRINGING THEM INTO THE PROMISE LAND.
9 So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence, just as he commanded him. 10 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?” 11 Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.
What in Sam Hill!! WHO brought the water? Moses. This generation will go into the Promise Land trusting Moses, not God.
12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”
- Moses harshly rebuked the people (v. 10),
- took credit for what God had done (v. 10),
- resented the Israelites (v. 10),
- lost his temper(v. 11),
- disobeyed God (v. 11),
- did not trust God’s power (v. 12),
- failed to glorify God (v. 12),
- and rebelled against God (v. 24).
Now I get the enormity of this chapter, and the consequence. So I kept reading my Bible. 😁
Edom denies Passage
The Edomites were the descendants of Esau, Jacob’s (Israel’s) brother. The “king’s highway” was a major road through Edom that caravans and armies passed through. This was not the route God wanted them to take. They were not Canaanites, whom God had commanded His people to attack and destroy. However, in spite of Moses’ peaceful request, the Edomites refused to let Israel pass and God will bring them eastward to enter through the Jordan River.
Aaron dies. Man, what would obituary say? If God can use a man like Aaron for his High Priest (he messed up everyday!), surely He can use me. Just as God proclaimed, the High priest position is handed to his son, Eleazar. The clothes were removed before he died, so that they were never contaminated from a corpse. (Spoiler Alert: when we get to the Gospel, who is the High Priest, and how did he get that job?).