In The Word
Read: Numbers 20
Death of Miriam
20 Then the sons of Israel, the whole congregation, came to the wilderness of Zin in the first month; and the people stayed at Kadesh. Now Miriam died there and was buried there.
2 There was no water for the congregation, and they assembled against Moses and Aaron. 3 Then the people argued with Moses and spoke, saying, “If only we had perished when our brothers perished before the Lord! 4 Why then have you brought the Lord’s assembly into this wilderness, for us and our livestock to die here? 5 Why did you make us come up from Egypt, to bring us into this wretched place? It is not a place of grain or figs or vines or pomegranates, nor is there water to drink!” 6 Then Moses and Aaron came in from the presence of the assembly to the entrance of the tent of meeting and fell on their faces. And the glory of the Lord appeared to them; 7 then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,
The Waters of Meribah
8 “Take the staff; and you and your brother Aaron assemble the congregation and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it shall yield its water. So you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and have the congregation and their livestock drink.”
9 So Moses took the staff from before the Lord, just as He had commanded him;10 and Moses and Aaron summoned the assembly in front of the rock. And he said to them, “Listen now, you rebels; shall we bring water for you out of this rock?”11 Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with his staff; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their livestock drank. 12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Since you did not trust in Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, for that reason you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” 13 Those were called the waters of Meribah, because the sons of Israel argued with the Lord, and He proved Himself holy among them.
14 From Kadesh Moses then sent messengers to the king of Edom to say, “This is what your brother Israel has said: ‘You know all the hardship that has overtaken us; 15 that our fathers went down to Egypt, and we stayed in Egypt a long time, and the Egyptians treated us and our fathers badly. 16 But when we cried out to the Lord, He heard our voice and sent an angel, and brought us out from Egypt; now behold, we are at Kadesh, a town on the edge of your territory. 17 Please let us pass through your land. We will not pass through field or vineyard; we will not even drink water from a well. We will go along the king’s road, not turning to the right or left, until we pass through your territory.’”
18 Edom, however, said to him, “You shall not pass through us, or I will come out with the sword against you.” 19 Again, the sons of Israel said to him, “We will go up by the road, and if I and my livestock do drink any of your water, then I will pay its price. Let me only pass through on my feet, nothing more.” 20 But he said, “You shall not pass through.” And Edom came out against him with a heavy force and a strong hand. 21 So Edom refused to allow Israel to pass through his territory; then Israel turned away from him.
22 Now when they set out from Kadesh, the sons of Israel, the whole congregation, came to Mount Hor.
Death of Aaron
23 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron at Mount Hor by the border of the land of Edom, saying, 24 “Aaron will be gathered to his people; for he shall not enter the land which I have given to the sons of Israel, because you rebelled against My command at the waters of Meribah. 25 Take Aaron and his son Eleazar, and bring them up to Mount Hor. 26 Then strip Aaron of his garments and put them on his son Eleazar. So Aaron will be gathered to his people and will die there.”27 So Moses did just as the Lord had commanded, and they went up to Mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation. 28 And after Moses stripped Aaron of his garments and put them on his son Eleazar, Aaron died there on the mountain top. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. 29 When all the congregation saw that Aaron had died, the whole house of Israel wept for Aaron for thirty days.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
We find God’s people, in today’s reading, still journeying in the wilderness. After the burial of Moses’ sister, the people gathered together to complain against Moses and Aaron concerning their lack of water. They went on to complain and even question the reason they were rescued from captivity to be brought to the wilderness where there was no food or water. Moses and Aaron, hearing the Israelites’ concerns, went to the presence of the Lord and fell on their faces for an answer. The Lord then promised water to the people from a rock. God told them specifically to speak to the rock in front of the congregation and water would flow out of it, but Moses hit the rock instead. For their disobedience and unbelief, God didn’t allow Moses or Aaron to enter into the Promised Land.
As you read the Word today, you may possibly find yourself relating to the text. Maybe you are like the congregation and are tempted to believe your life was better before God rescued and redeemed you. Or like Moses you are taking matters into your own hands and not trusting God. If you find yourself in either of these conditions, realize that you are believing a lie from satan. Know that God loves you and has saved you. He has proven His great love for you by sacrificing His son Jesus. Satan, on the other hand, hasn’t sacrificed anything for you and only wants to destroy you. Don’t rely on your own ways as that is what gets us distant from God’s purposes. Choose today to trust God and His perfect ways.