Because you did not trust in me . . . , you will not bring this community into the land. Numbers 20:12
As a teen, I was driving way too fast trying to follow my friend to his home after a high school basketball practice. It was raining hard, and I was having a hard time keeping up with his car. Suddenly, my wipers cleared the watery windshield only to reveal my friend’s sedan stopped in front of me! I slammed on the brakes, slid off the street, and struck a large tree. My car was destroyed. Later I awoke in the comatose ward of a local hospital. While by God’s grace I survived, my reckless ways had proved to be very costly.
Moses made a reckless decision that cost him greatly. His poor choice, however, involved a lack of water—not too much of it (as in my case). The Israelites were without water in the Desert of Zin, and “the people gathered in opposition to Moses” (Numbers 20:2). God told the frazzled leader to speak to a rock and it would “pour out its water” (v. 8). Instead, he “struck the rock twice” (v. 11). God said, “Because you did not trust in me . . . , you will not [enter the promised land]” (v. 12).
When we make reckless decisions, we pay the consequences. “Desire without knowledge is not good—how much more will hasty feet miss the way!” (Proverbs 19:2). May we prayerfully, carefully seek God’s wisdom and guidance in the choices and decisions we make today.
What regrettable decisions have you made based on impulse? Why is it vital to slow down and prayerfully seek God’s wisdom before reacting?
Jesus, please help me to follow Your wise instruction as Your Spirit leads me.
For further study, read Making Decisions God’s Way.
It’s sometimes debated why Moses was judged so harshly when frustration against the Israelites after decades of their frequent rebellion is understandable (Numbers 20:10–20). One interpretation is that Moses’ words (“must we bring you water” v. 10) seemed to take the credit for the miracle himself, almost like pagan magicians might portray themselves as having godlike powers. Another interpretation is that his question was rhetorical, implying he didn’t believe God could or would provide water from a rock. Yet what we know is that God said Moses failed to “trust in [Him] enough to honor [Him] as holy in the sight of the Israelites” (v. 12).