“Because you did not believe”
This is what the Lord said to Moses! We prove whether or not we believe God means what he says by what we do! We show whether we have listened carefully to his word by how we act! Near enough, is not good enough! Now, it is important that we understand why the Lord said these words to Moses which we read today in Numbers 20.
Once again, nearing the end of their wilderness journeying, the Israelites are put to the test, God tested them by causing a lack of water for themselves and their flocks. They fail the test. After all their experiences of God providing for their basic needs they should have known better than to complain bitterly about the lack of water. They say to Moses,
“Why have you made us come out of Egypt to this evil place? … there is no water to drink”.
So the glory of God appears and the Lord speaks to Moses,
“Take the staff and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So you shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their cattle” (verse 8).
So they gather before the rock, it must have been a huge one, and Moses says,
“‘Hear now you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?’ and Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly …” (verses 10,11).
Now Moses had not done exactly what he had been told to do, he had been told to speak to the rock! Nor had he credited this miracle to God. This is what caused God to say to Moses,
“Because you did not believe in me to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people … you shall not bring this assembly into the land” (verse 12).
God expects us to do what he says and surely the same principle applies when it comes to matters like baptism. Those who say it is sufficient to sprinkle water on the forehead should heed the example of Moses’ mistake.
There would only be one church if we would fully apply our minds to God’s words and the words he inspired men like the apostles to write, but it seems these things have to be in order to fully sift the wheat from the chaff. Are you ready to be sifted? Surely the day is near – and we will be told
“Because you …”?
What will be the rest of what we will be told?