Daily D – Numbers 20:12
But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust me to demonstrate my holiness in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this assembly into the land I have given them.”
NUMBERS 20:12 (CSB)
Living with one conflict after another can make even the most humble man alive grouchy.
Once again, the whole community complained against Moses and Aaron (verses 2-5). Once again, Moses and Aaron went straight to God and fell facedown (verse 6). Once again, God told them what to do (verses 7 and 8).
Moses and Aaron acted with what they felt like was righteous anger. They spoke strong words to the people. They took violent action by striking the rock twice.
They disobeyed God’s instructions. He said,
A) Take the staff and assemble the community.
B) Speak to the rock while they watch, and it will yield its water.
C) You will bring out water for them from the rock and provide drink for the community and their livestock.
There is nothing angry in God’s instructions. There is nothing violent in God’s instructions. There is no need God will not provide out of his grace and kindness.
I wonder if James, the half-brother of Jesus, had this episode in mind when he wrote, “My dear brothers and sisters, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness,”? (James 1:19, 20)
May anger drive you into God’s presence
May anger drive you to take appropriate action.
May anger never lead you beyond what is right, fair, just, and compassionate.
May anger never lead you to equate your harsh words with God’s instructions or your violent actions with his intentions.
There is a wrong way to do the right thing. Don’t do that.
Whatever we do, there will be consequences. Following God’s instructions leads to the right consequences. Going beyond God’s instructions leads to the wrong consequences.
I will follow God’s instructions and enjoy the pleasant consequences of his intentions.
Our Father, please deliver me from angry words and actions that make things worse rather than better. Empower me to use righteous anger to accomplish righteous ends with righteous means. Temper me so that my anger is never about my personal ego satisfaction. Teach me to follow anger to its right, just, fair, and compassionate end and no farther. Amen.
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Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand. (CSB)
Isaiah 38:2, 3 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD. He said, “Please, LORD, remember how I have walked before you faithfully and wholeheartedly, and have done what pleases you.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. (CSB)
Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the LORD is waiting to show you mercy, and is rising up to show you compassion, for the LORD is a just God. All who wait patiently for him are happy. (CSB)