I recently finished reading about how Moses led the Israelites. I remembered from the other times I’ve read through the Bible about how the children of Israel constantly murmured against their leader and in turn, against the Lord.
But as I read through the Book of Numbers, I was intrigued by the fact that Moses and Aaron couldn’t enter the Promised Land.
Numbers 20:12 – And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.”
Did this verse mean that Moses and Aaron weren’t believers? No.
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.
And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him.
And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?
And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.
So God’s instructions were pretty clear. He told Moses to take the rod, gather everyone, and SPEAK to the rock before the eyes of everyone.
Moses proceeds by obeying two parts out of God’s three-part instructions. Instead of speaking to the rock, he smote it.
Now, some of us may not have caught that but if you carefully pay attention to details, you will realize that Moses failed to wholly and completely obey the Lord.
“Partial obedience is complete disobedience.”Kyle Pals
For those who have ever worked with children, whether in a children’s ministry, in the nursery, daycare, preschool and even as a mother, you will quickly realize how sinful children are. Children easily demonstrate this when they see something that another child has and instead of asking nicely or waiting til that child is done playing with whatever toy or object they have, they snatch it from them. And when you say the word, “Share” they look at you like you are from a different planet.
I have three kids and my husband and I work with various children’s ministries at our church and we can quickly testify that obedience is not part of our nature.
Obedience must be taught and caught.
Just look back at Eve. Although God’s instructions were fair and clear, she still chose to give in to her temptation and disobey God, thus causing spiritual and physical death upon all humanity.
While many of us know that God keeps His promises, we forget that He also keeps His word when it comes to consequences.
“God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19)
I became more careful when I became a parent — careful about what I say, how I say things, and what I do. Has it been easy? Absolutely not! It’s hard. I still become impatient, frustrated, and sometimes angry. But that’s why we can lean on the Lord and trust in Him. In all honesty, we cannot do this thing we call “life” without His help and His grace.
All throughout Scripture we see how parents have such an influence on their children — not just by what they say, but more importantly by what they do.
Many kings who did wickedly had sons that did wickedly. Is this a surprise? Well, it shouldn’t be. Because as parents, we model who Christ is or is not to our children. We as parents can be a picture of our Heavenly Father to the precious souls God has entrusted to us. We hear stories about children being mistreated by their fathers and thus they end up viewing God in the same way.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7)
Whatever we sow, whether it be good or bad, we will reap. And as we’ve seen from Numbers 23, God keeps His Word.
So, what kind of seeds are you sowing?
Have you been sowing seeds of materialism, discontentment, or unkindness? Well, if so, don’t be surprised when your children sow the same seeds or reap from the seeds you have sown. But friend, I don’t want to just leave you on a discouraging note.
Did you know that you can start sowing good seeds today? You may not see the results of the good seeds you sow in your lifetime (or you might) but rest assured that God will keep His promise. He is faithful. He is not like man that she should lie. Whatever He says will happen.
So what can we learn from Moses and Aaron?
- Moses was a Believer but what he did demonstrated his disbelief. He demonstrated his disbelief in God’s power. He didn’t trust God when He said to just “speak” to the rock. Therefore, he smote it instead. Sure, water came out nonetheless, but it probably would’ve seemed more like a miracle from God had Moses not smote the rock. We can also see that Moses seemed angry when he spoke to the Israelites. Anger can sometimes result in having us do something that we might regret later on.
- Moses disobeyed God by partially obeying Him. So often we think that God is pleased or honored by when we obey Him a little bit. We think that God is sitting on His throne in Heaven clapping His hands for the little act of obedience we did but it wasn’t wholehearted-obedience. Think about it. I’m sure you’ve asked your children to do something before. If they did what you asked of them but not immediately, then guess what, they didn’t obey you completely. They hesitated — Just like Moses. Have you ever asked your child to do something that consisted of multiple things like cleaning their room? Cleaning their room to us usually means making sure everything is put away in its proper place. To them, it might mean stuffing everything in the closet. Did they clean? Uhm…somewhat but they partially cleaned. They didn’t completely clean. So in the same manner, God wants us to obey Him wholly and completely.
- Moses reaped what he sowed. Because he didn’t completely obey, God didn’t grant him access to go into the promise land. Could it also be that he might have taken credit for the miracle instead of giving God the credit? (Numbers 20:10 – “…must we fetch you water out of this rock?”) And you know what’s sad, Aaron was affected too. Because when God gave the commandment, yes, He spoke to Moses but Aaron was present. Aaron shared in the disbelief because he allowed Moses to falter.
Men and Ladies, we must be careful with our children. We must be careful with the kinds of seeds we are sowing. We must be careful with what we are teaching them both through our words and actions.
- Have faith. Trust God. It’s easier said than done but faith is vital to our Christian lives — not just for salvation but for after salvation. When we demonstrate faith, we are demonstrating that we are powerless and God is powerful.
- Demonstrate complete obedience. We can demonstrate complete obedience to our children by doing what God asks of us, even when we don’t understand. We can demonstrate complete obedience by following what the Bible says.
- Sow good seeds. Sure, you may have sown some bad seeds in your lifetime but today is a new day and you can make today matter by sowing good seeds in your life and in the lives of your children.
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