“Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.” Numbers 20:11 NIV
If you feel like you are stuck in a situation, unable to extricate yourself, you are probably in the same place that the Israelites were when they wandered the desert for 40 years never able to get to the Promised Land. There are two reasons why they were not able to enter into the blessings of God; disobedience, and lack of faith. While both will stall us in the wilderness let’s look at the importance of obedience.
Sure, we all acknowledge that we should be obedient, but it is very easy to find ourselves on the opposite side of this command. Even Moses, a great man of faith, lost the blessing of entering into the Promised Land because of disobedience.
In Numbers chapter 20, the people are grumbling to Moses, again, because of a lack of water. God instructs Moses and Aaron to take the rod, and speak to the rock before the assembly and it would bring forth water. In the verse above, however, we see that what Moses did was use the rod to strike the rock twice and produce the water. The water came out, but God rebuked Moses for his failure to follow His instructions.
To Moses, it must have seemed to have been an innocent and small difference. The cost was high. Here is why that small disobedience mattered. The people had a need and he was to speak to the rock. The rock represents for all time Jesus, the deliverer. Jesus was smitten once and that was sufficient for all eternity. But Moses struck the rock not once but twice countering that truth. Moses did not know this and probably had no understanding of the role of the Savior. But not knowing was not an excuse for disobedience and so he was held accountable for his actions.
This is why it is so important for us to obey every Word of God. You may not understand why He asks you to do certain things, but He expects obedience because of His reason behind the command.
Today, be sure to have your ears attentive to the voice of the Lord. Those who obey put themselves in the position of entering into the land of plenty, the land of milk and honey. Those who cannot be trusted in the small things will find themselves frustrated in the wilderness!
Are you listening attentively to the voice of the Lord and are you faithfully obeying every command, even those that seem small and unimportant?
J Todd Hostetler