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- Chapter 20- DO NOT SKIM…it’s the chapter I threw my Bible away and said “Well, that’s a bunch of “$^!*, you can keep that book”
These chapters, although I admit I skimmed a little, are the cleansing of the camp after the rebellion.
Our understanding of true worship begins with the sense that He controls and directs true worship; who the priests are and how they function are his concerns. This means that worship is not a game where we may make up the rules as we play.
Often we think of worship in terms of what we like and appreciate. This misses the mark; worship is principally for God’s pleasure.
OK. where are we?
We are at Kadesh-Barnea. If the Israelites stand on your toes, you can see the Promise Land! It has been about 38 years since their elders sent the spies in to assess it. The people are thirsty, they complain, Moses talks to the Lord, the Lord tells him to provide water, he does (but with his own little dramatic flair), and Moses is reprimanded and his consequence is “Your ticket is void, you cannot enter the Promise Land” What???
THIS is when I walked over to my mentor’s house and said “This is crap! (may have been a few other choice words for my own dramatic flair). After all Moses has done for these people, he makes one little mistake and BAM, he’s out!
Well, I tip-toed back over to her house (she pretended not to see me) and I took my Bible back to wrestle with God over it.
Let’s think for a minute:
- Who brought the plagues to Egypt? God.
- Who redeemed the people from slavery? God.
- Who parted the Red Sea? God.
- Who brought manna, quail, and turned water from bitter to sweet? God.
- Chapter 17…who brought water from the rock? God
- Chapter 20…who brought water from the Rock? God or Moses.
The Lord said to Moses, 8 “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.”
This is a NEW generation. God has patiently waited for the last generation to pass away so that he can continue the plan. This generation did not see God do any of the miracles listed above, they only heard about it from their parents. This is a HUGE moment! GOD WILL PROVIDE SO THAT THIS NEW GENERATION KNOWS WHO IS BRINGING THEM INTO THE PROMISE LAND! GOD.
9 So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence, just as he commanded him. 10 He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must WE bring you water out of this rock?” 11 Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.
What in Sam Hill!! WHO brought the water? This generation will go into the Promise Land trusting Moses, not God. Oh, this would be a big deal. I totally understand why Moses cannot be leader into the Promise Land now.
12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”
- Moses harshly rebuked the people (v. 10),
- took credit for what God had done (v. 10),
- resented the Israelites (v. 10),
- lost his temper(v. 11),
- disobeyed God (v. 11),
- did not trust God’s power (v. 12),
- failed to glorify God (v. 12),
- and rebelled against God (v. 24).
Now I get the enormity of this chapter and the consequence. So I kept reading my Bible. 😁 (And it gives me a lot to think about when I use “I” in my own accomplishments.
Edom denies Passage 😢
The Edomites were the descendants of Esau, Jacob’s (Israel’s) brother. (feels like forever so jog your brain or look at your handouts )
The “king’s highway” was a major road through Edom that caravans and armies passed through. In spite of Moses’ peaceful request, the Edomites refused to let Israel pass and God will bring them eastward to enter through the Jordan River.
If you are looking at the map, we leave Kadesh Barnea, continue through the wilderness. The Edomites refusal to let the Israelites pass through their land WILL come up again in our reading. God deals with all our enemies in His time, so we should have Peace when wrongs seemed to go unnoticed.
Aaron dies. Man, what would the obituary say? Just as God proclaimed, the High priest position is handed to his son, Eleazar. The clothes were removed before he died so that they were never contaminated by a corpse. (Spoiler Alert: when we get to the Gospel, who is the High Priest, and how did he get that job?? All this careful planning get flushed down the toilet). If you really want to know ask me in comments, I don’t want to ruin it for those who want to wait.
4 thoughts on “Numbers 18-20”
So good. I never thought about this being the next generation that had not experienced the miracles. They mourn for Aaron 30 days, but little is said about Miriam. I’m guessing most of her peers and friends have already passed. I know it’s an insignificant detail but it’s kinda sad. I’m glad they added that she died to the text. She was a highly respected leader of the women.
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What I love is that even though Moses KNOWS he will not enter the land he is going to sit with the entire next generation and tell them the whole History of God and all the wonderful promises and provisions their parents experienced… it is called Deuteronomy. ❤️. I can’t wait!
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Yes, I love what you said about the responsibility we have to teach our children. We have to keep telling the stories. When people say the Old Testament is irrelevant today I just want to slap em’. Not really, well sorta🤭
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Thanks for the breakdown of the disobedience at the rock. It wasn’t just about the end result of him hitting the rock- it’s about that short little journey to the result and his attitude. This one stepped on my toes good. I needed that adjustment.
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