Faith, Favor, Falling
““Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. SPEAK to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals.””
Numbers 20:8 NKJV
“Then Moses lifted his hand and STRUCK the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank.”
Numbers 20:11 NKJV
“But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust Me to show My holiness in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this assembly into the land I have given them.””
Numbers 20:12 HCSB
“For both of you broke faith with Me among the Israelites at the waters of Meribath-kadesh in the Wilderness of Zin by failing to treat Me as holy in their presence. Although from a distance you will view the land that I am giving the Israelites, you will not go there.””
Deuteronomy 32:51-52 HCSB
YIKES!! Talk about disobedience putting distance between you and the promise. Moses went from being called to lead the people of Israel to possess the Promise Land to only getting to view the promise from afar.
We hear all the time how “what’s meant for you will be for you“ or “whatever is meant to be will be.” Although there is truth to that, I worry that it creates a false sense of security or comfort.
People share how they received a prophecy that didn’t come to pass and sometimes go as far as to say that the prophet who gave them the word is false! However, could it be that our behaviors and lack of belief block us from the blessings that God promised? The promise is waiting and ready but we aren’t ready to receive it or obedient in order to obtain it.
The Lord told Moses and Aaron,
“Because you did not BELIEVE Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.””
Numbers 20:12 NKJV
My First Lady, Pastor Christina B. Lynch always says, “What we believe will always show up in our behaviors.” Though God does not choose to bless because of us, our belief is the key to access it and our obedience is what takes us to it.
So yeah, what’s for you is meant for you, but your faith and obedience is what will allow you to possess it.
Let’s break it down.
1. Moses DISOBEYED God.
2. Moses DID NOT TRUST God to move in a new way.
3. Moses DID NOT TRUST God to display His holiness.
4. Moses DISHONORED God.
How did Moses disobey God?
- God instructed Moses to SPEAK to the rock but instead Moses STRUCK the rock.
Strike/Struck - To hit forcibly, come into forcible contact.
Moses used forced when he was instructed to simply speak.
God had given Moses clear instructions. These instructions were a command, not a suggestion or recommendation.
I believe we sometimes get too familiar with God. We call Him friend so much, we begin to think that we are equals. Though we are a friend of God, He is still God, King of kings and Lord of lords. He is still sovereign and the Holy One and should be reverenced as such.
As my Pastor Chance D. Lynch says, “familiarity breeds contempt.”
Contempt - The feeling that a person or thing Is beneath consideration, worthless or deserving scorn.
- Disregarding something that should be taken into account.
If we’re honest, some of us have developed contempt when it comes to God’s commands. We don’t say it with our lips but with our actions. We begin to feel as though favor with God means that we are His favorite and have free reign (We have free will but we give that over to Christ when we submit to Him and make Him Lord of our lives). We act first and just expect forgiveness later. (God forgives but His grace isn’t to be abused.) Be truthful, have your ever said or done something knowing God probably wouldn’t be okay with it but you just brushed it off like, “He’ll forgive me and if it goes wrong, He’ll help me out”...well have you? I know I have. It can be something as simple as clapping back at someone or jumping into a relationship that He did not ordain.
We don’t seek God’s guidance as we should and when we do, sometimes we treat His instructions as suggestions. We consult Him as friend but don’t adhere to His counsel as Father. We take His words into consideration but do not count them as commands.
God’s commands aren’t just to be taken into consideration and followed if we feel like it. They are to be obeyed regardless of if it fits our agenda or not and whether it’s comfortable or not. Don’t disregard His directions.
The Word says,
“In ALL your ways KNOW and ACKNOWLEDGE and RECOGNIZE Him, And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way]. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD [with reverent awe and obedience] and turn [entirely] away from evil.”
Proverbs 3:6-7 AMP
In ALL of our ways we are to know, acknowledge and recognize God as God, the Way, the Truth, the Light, Father, Creator...the list goes on. When we acknowledge Him as Who He Is, we reverence Him and His instruction. We don’t consult Him after we have gotten ourselves into trouble. We seek Him for the way before we make a move.
“If we use His Word as an example, we won’t need Him as an escape!”
- Pastor Chance D. Lynch
Let me make it plain. You know how you may call your friend for their perspective on something but you don’t necessarily take their advice unless it lines up with what you’re feeling? But when your parent or pastor give you instruction/advice, you follow suit without hesitation? Well just as we hold our parents and pastors to a high esteem where we see their words as wisdom to follow, how much more should we do with God?
How do we know that Moses did not trust God to move in a new way?
- In Exodus 17:5-6 God instructed Moses to strike the rock, however, this time around, God was doing something new and Moses was only to speak to the rock. Though God had given a new command, Moses follow the last one he had received.
Disobedience does not always appear evident. Disobedience is not always blatant. Sometimes disobedience looks like following instructions.
When we keep operating the way God instructed us last time or in our last season when He has given new instructions, we are operating in disobedience.
We miss the mark when we don’t recognize that God is doing something new. God is always moving. We must keep up!
At times we need only be still (Ex. 14:14) and other times we need to strap up and slay the giant (1 Sam. 17:32-51). We must grow in God so we can discern which is called for and grow in obedience so we follow suit with what God instructs in that moment.
To Be Continued...
Be on the lookout for Part 2 of Faith, Favor, Falling to read how Moses dishonored God and the consequence that followed.