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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John 9:8, 9 His neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar said, “Isn’t this the one who used to sit begging?” Some said, “He’s the one.” Others were saying, “No, but he looks like him.” He kept saying, “I’m the one.” (CSB)
Luke 6:43-45 “A good tree doesn’t produce bad fruit; on the other hand, a bad tree doesn’t produce good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs aren’t gathered from thornbushes, or grapes picked from a bramble bush. A good person produces good out of the good stored up in his heart. An evil person produces evil out of the evil stored up in his heart, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.” (CSB)
John 8:31, 32 Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you really are my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (CSB)