And Jehovah spoke to Moses saying,Take the rod, and gather the assembly, you and Aaron your brother, and speak to the rock before their eyes. And it shall give forth its water, and you shall bring forth to them water out of the rock. So you shall give the congregation and their animals drink. (Numbers 20:7-8 MKJV)
And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he struck the rock twice. And the water came out plentifully, and the congregation and their animals drank.
And Jehovah spoke to Moses and Aaron, Because you did not believe Me, to sanctify Me in the eyes of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them. (Numbers 20:11-12 MKJV)
There is so much in these scriptures we could talk about, but the thing that seems to jump out at me is the emotion in them. God gave direction to Moses to speak to the rock and Moses took a liberty that was not his and struck the rock. Taking liberty with the word of God is never a good idea‚Ä¶as Moses would soon discover. Because of taking that liberty, Moses would never enjoy the blessings of the promise land. Sometimes I wonder if we do not hinder our own blessings as well when we take liberties with the word of God. What Moses did to the rock was a prophetic picture of what was going to take place with Jesus. Moses striking the rock twice could certainly be a picture of both the cruel beating and crucifixion of Christ.
Moses speaks of mankind. His rod speaks of authority. The Rock speaks of the Lord Himself. Moses‚Äô anger speaks of the condition of the world.
Unfortunately this seems to be a pattern of life for mankind today. God has given us the power and authority by the spoken word to do great things, yet far too often we use our authority (the rod) to strike the rock. You may wonder how it is possible to strike the rock in today‚Äôs world. We may not carry a rod in our hand as Moses did, but we do have a tongue in our mouth that is far more destructive. We no longer strike with a rod, but with the tongue a critical word.
I know a man who brags about being thrown out of every church he has attended. Without realizing it this man is striking the rock and he will be dealt with by God. It is a dangerous thing to have a loose tongue that is governed by a critical attitude.
If you are a perpetual complainer, then you are striking the rock. If you criticize God because He did not answer your prayer, you are striking the rock. If you criticize your pastor, you are striking the rock. If you criticize your boss, you are striking the rock. If you criticize your mate, you are striking the rock. If you criticize a minister that you do not even know‚Ä¶you are striking the rock. According to James, we should be very concerned with how we use our tongue.
‚ÄúAnd the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. So the tongue is set among our members, spotting all the body and inflaming the course of nature, and being inflamed by hell. (James 3:6 MKJV)
Help us to be more conscious of how we use our tongue. Help our thoughts to be Your thoughts and our words to be Your words. Sanctify us from taking the liberty that Moses took by striking the rock. Our desire is to be an example of obedience to Your will.
Apostle John Dean Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved
Alliance International Ministries