Today we are in Numbers 18-20 and we come across one of the most famous OT passages, one that will be referenced many times in scripture as we move through the word.
In Numbers 20, we have the people of Israel starting to get very desperate again, the spies had gone into the promised land, they saw the giant scary people and came back and reported that there was no way they have a shot of conquering them. (Well, all except Joshua and Caleb that is…) After a subsequent failed attempt to take the land which got many of them killed they pause in the wilderness of Zin.
Here they start to spiral again.
v3 says “And the people quarreled with Moses and said ‘Would that we had perished when our brothers perished before the Lord! Why have you brought the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness, that we should die here, both we and our cattle….there is no water to drink!”
Short version – Moses reacts in anger and takes matters into his own hands, smashes the rock with his staff in order to make water (Hey, it worked in Ex 17:6) and therein commits the biggest blunder of his career.
I did an extended post on this last year, but this year the Lord was saying to me – “How are you like Moses?”
Well – I guess I let the actions of others cloud my emotions and my outlook and then my emotions start to take over and I start to act from my feelings and not the truth of the Gospel. How’s that for a direct answer?
Moses let the people’s anger and despair completely get to him, he gets angry too and then acts on his feelings and sins massively against God – essentially publicly declaring that Moses’ is smarter than God and took matters into his own hands – and demonstrated a total lack of faith.
One of the many things God is beating into my brain this year is that feelings and emotions cannot be trusted and they certainly cannot dictate our outlook on life. They are not to dictate how we live our lives. Ever notice how quickly feelings can change? You can feel happy one minute and thus feel like life is going just ducky, but then the next minute whether it be by someone else’s action or perhaps a bad burrito for lunch your feelings change and you are irritated, sad, grumpy, negative – and thus life looks bleak. Why? Has God changed? No. Scripture assures us that God never changes and he is not like us. That’s a very good thing.
Martin Lloyd Jones famously said that our problems stem from listening to ourselves and not talking to ourselves. We need to preach the gospel to ourselves, and walk in obedience and faith DESPITE how we are feeling. Walk in faith from a position of being justified before God thru Jesus Christ!
We need to renew our thinking (Rom 12:1-2; Eph 4:20-24). Right thinking produces right living.