Obedience above all else

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Moses and Aaron led the people of Israelite through 10 plagues, passed thru the Red Sea; had to contend with grumpy ungrateful people always crying out for food and water; saw the death of many because of the wrath of God for their rebellious attitudes/ways.

It is sad to see them go through so much only to be disqualified from entering the Promise Land because of one act. What was it? “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.” (Num 20:12)
1) v. 1 Miriam just died.
2) v. 2-5 Another round of wails and complaints from the congregation – no water!
3) v.6-8 Moses and Aaron went and fell face down before the Chief. Cloud appeared at the meeting and the Chief said: “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.”

4) v.9-11 What did Moses do?
a) He took the rod. (as the Lord commanded) v. 9
b) He reprimanded the people: You rebels! v. 10
c) He lifted up his hand and struck the rock 2x with his rod. v.11

1) Moses obeyed – but up to the point of bringing the rod only. God said to just speak the words. Sometimes we obey in part – partial obedience is no obedience at all! We give God some help of our own. We think we know better. This was how it was done before and it worked.
2) Yes, it did work. Water came out as usual.

Sometimes doing things our way does work. We get the desired results. But is it God’s way? There is a consequence.

3) God said: you did not believe me; did not treat Me as holy – in the sight of all the people.

Bottom line: God said ‘Because you have not ‘believed’ Me, to treat Me holy..
Unbelief = disobedience (Moses did not do as told: queh gaw in Hokkien, nag-mamarunong); Moses thought of his righteous anger – You rebels! Here, see the water flow out.. Perhaps he struck the rock in anger? Perhaps he thought this was how it was done the first time. (Exo. 17:6)

Disobedience = disrespect (did not treat as holy)

No matter how much I do for the Lord, what matters most is my heart: Am I obedient to Him? Do I hear His word? What is He telling me? Bring the rod and speak. Do I bring the rod but strike? Yes, water came out just the same! But what does the Lord have to say at the end?
You believe and treat me holy? or You did not believe me, to treat me holy?

Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty.. early in the morning our song shall rise to thee. Isaiah saw the Holy God and realized he is a man of unclean lips. But praise be to God for He has made me clean thru the blood of Jesus.


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