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Moses' Disobedience


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#1 LightSeeker

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 02:26 PM

Food for thought. In recent reading on the Old testament, NU 20:2-12 "Waters of Meribah" , The Isrealites once again grumble about their situation, especially with respect to lack of water.
2 Now there was no water for the community, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron. 3 They quarreled with Moses and said, "If only we had died when our brothers fell dead before the LORD! 4 Why did you bring the LORD's community into this desert, that we and our livestock should die here? 5 Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!"

The Lord commands the humble and obedient Moses:
NU 20:7-8
7 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."

Moses Obeys:
NU 20:9-11
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.

Now, in the very next verse, the Lord disciplines Moses
NU 20:12
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."
????

It appears to me, Moses followed the Lord's command.
A little confused here. Any comments and thank you for your insights!

Light

#2 Adam Nagy

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 03:29 PM

I've been reading Numbers and Deuteronomy the last couple of days. There are some tough things to follow in the Torah. I can't wait to see what kind of responses you get from others.

Great question. :)

Oh... and welcome to EFT, LightSeeker.

#3 the totton linnet

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 03:32 PM

Food for thought. In recent reading on the Old testament, NU 20:2-12 "Waters of Meribah" , The Isrealites once again grumble about their situation, especially with respect to lack of water.
2 Now there was no water for the community, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron. 3 They quarreled with Moses and said, "If only we had died when our brothers fell dead before the LORD! 4 Why did you bring the LORD's community into this desert, that we and our livestock should die here? 5 Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!"

The Lord commands the humble and obedient Moses:
NU 20:7-8
7 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."

Moses Obeys:
NU 20:9-11
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.

Now, in the very next verse, the Lord disciplines Moses
NU 20:12
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."
????

It appears to me, Moses followed the Lord's command.
A little confused here. Any comments and thank you for your insights!

Light

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He struck twice and he struck in anger
To understand the extent of some disobediences in the bible you have to understand the incredibly high place of the individuals concerned, it is very interesting that I have been studying uzziahs mistake, in bringing the ark of the covenant back to Israel the wagon on which the ark was set wobbled and Uzziah put forth his hand to steady the ark and the Lord smote him and he died, I've been pondering that and it really is so similar to Mose's mistake.
Why it is so wrong is because God does not need the arm of flesh to accomplish His will. That extra thing that we do dishonours God. Why? because His word is sufficient, "I watch over My word to perform it."
God had no helpers when He created this world, and He had no helpers when He redeemed it.
Now let's look at that extra "thing" that we do if it goes unchecked [if I am thinking rightly] becomes the area that the devil will exploit-think of Saul's BIG disobedience.
The devil looks closely to find ways of getting peoples eyes off of God's word and on to those in the high position of ministering it.
People watching Moses would say "aha, that's the trick, you've got to become angry, you have to really, really emphasise God's word, it's not enough to simply speak it and believe it and obey it." [remember, the devil is at work here] pretty soon he develops it into a liturgy, pretty soon there is added little religious ceremonies and before you know where it is all at [within a generation] you have a full blown religion.
Unlikely? within 50 years of the apostles passing away the eucharist had become the central focus of church worship, prayers were being offered to the virgin mary within another 50 years.
Look what has happened to pentecostalism in the hundred years since Asuza st.

#4 LightSeeker

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 03:41 PM

I've been reading Numbers and Deuteronomy the last couple of days. There are some tough things to follow in the Torah. I can't wait to see what kind of responses you get from others.

Great question. :)

Oh... and welcome to EFT, LightSeeker.

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Thank you, Adam!

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 04:30 PM

Hi Lightseeker,

Moses had the word of God with Him. He had already seen the power of God at work! There was no need for him to strike the rock twice as though the word of God would be lacking and would require the staff as back up. This was a display of a lack of trust on Moses' part and an insult to God.

Considering all that God had already worked through Moses, this was a big deal to God! Moses did indeed disobey God through lack of faith and not following the instruction as it was given.

That's my take on it!

Cheers

#6 LightSeeker

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 04:32 PM

Thank you for your response, Linnet..
Yet a query:

He struck twice and he struck in anger
To understand the extent of some disobediences in the bible you have to understand the incredibly high place of the individuals concerned, it is very interesting that I have been studying uzziahs mistake...

I agree, he had strunk in ager, but given the prespective of periods of doubt and frustration Moses displayed in earlier scripture, the current book dentoes him as having tremendous humility:
NU 12:3
3 (Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)
I would also assume then, that self doubt would be a direct diobedience to the Lord's calling if an emotional burst of anger was the cause of Moses diobedience at Meribah.
EX 4:1-8
1 Moses answered, "What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, 'The LORD did not appear to you'?"

2 Then the LORD said to him, "What is that in your hand?"
"A staff," he replied. 3 The LORD said, "Throw it on the ground."

Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. 4 Then the LORD said to him, "Reach out your hand and take it by the tail." So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. 5 "This," said the LORD, "is so that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you."

6 Then the LORD said, "Put your hand inside your cloak." So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was leprous, like snow.

7 "Now put it back into your cloak," he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.

8 Then the LORD said, "If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first miraculous sign, they may believe the second. 9 But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground."


And again:
EX 4:10-13
10 Moses said to the LORD, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue."

11 The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD ? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."

13 But Moses said, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it."


And finally in V.14:
14 Then the LORD's anger burned against Moses and he said, "What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you.

This reminds me of the frustraiton I feel with my own child when he has feelings of inadequacy!!! But direct disobedience? Just having a tough time reconciling the Love of God with the denial of the Promised Land..

Then again, He IS God!

within 50 years of the apostles passing away the eucharist had become the central focus of church worship, prayers were being offered to the virgin mary within another 50 years.
Look what has happened to pentecostalism in the hundred years since Asuza st.

I agree wholeheartedly!

#7 the totton linnet

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 05:10 PM

Thank you for your response, Linnet..
Yet a query:

I agree, he had strunk in ager, but given the prespective of periods of doubt and frustration Moses displayed in earlier scripture, the current book dentoes him as having tremendous humility:
NU 12:3
3 (Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)
I would also assume then, that self doubt would be a direct diobedience to the Lord's calling if an emotional burst of anger was the cause of Moses diobedience at Meribah.
EX 4:1-8
1 Moses answered, "What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, 'The LORD did not appear to you'?"
   
2 Then the LORD said to him, "What is that in your hand?"
      "A staff," he replied. 3 The LORD said, "Throw it on the ground."

      Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. 4 Then the LORD said to him, "Reach out your hand and take it by the tail." So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. 5 "This," said the LORD, "is so that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you."

    6 Then the LORD said, "Put your hand inside your cloak." So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was leprous,  like snow.

    7 "Now put it back into your cloak," he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.

    8 Then the LORD said, "If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first miraculous sign, they may believe the second. 9 But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground."


And again:
EX 4:10-13
   10 Moses said to the LORD, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue."

    11 The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD ? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."

    13 But Moses said, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it."


And finally in V.14:
14 Then the LORD's anger burned against Moses and he said, "What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you.

This reminds me of the frustraiton I feel with my own child when he has feelings of inadequacy!!! But direct disobedience? Just having a tough time reconciling the Love of God with the denial of the Promised Land..

Then again, He IS God!
I agree wholeheartedly!

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Well be fair, how old was Moses? 120 years old? ooh you are overlooking so much about the extraordinary love between God and His servant here, it was so tender, God allowed Moses to see the promised land from the mountain but as the children of Isreal were marching in Moses died in sweetest fellowship with God there in the mountain, and didn't you read that God [personally] buried him in the land of Moab-there is so much glory there.
And what about the prophetic implications of all this? that the law shall shall not inherit the promises.
Listen because you and I fall short with God and He punishes us, He does not do so in anger or hatred, God is full of mercy toward His people.
Hebrews teaches us [like you say] that if earthly fathers discipline their children and that for their own [convenience] ...I'm paraphrasing... will not God who has our eternal well being chastise us?
And in the case of people in high place of leadership among God's people He has the welfare of His people in view, what about His love them-ward?
No, no Moses understood all these things very well and I do not doubt he blessed God for it. Speaking personally I'm glad God doesn't let me get away with much, I soon am made to smart.
*
I am glad you bring out the fact that the great law-giver was the meekest man on earth, I don't think Charlton Heston played Moses very well.

#8 LightSeeker

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 05:20 PM

*
Well be fair, how old was Moses? 120 years old? ooh you are overlooking so much about the extraordinary love between God and His servant here, it was so tender, God allowed Moses to see the promised land from the mountain but as the children of Isreal were marching in Moses died in sweetest fellowship with God there in the mountain, and didn't you read that God [personally] buried him in the land of Moab-there is so much glory there.
And what about the prophetic implications of all this? that the law shall shall not inherit the promises.
Listen because you and I fall short with God and He punishes us, He does not do so in anger or hatred, God is full of mercy toward His people.
Hebrews teaches us [like you say] that if earthly fathers discipline their children and that for their own [convenience] ...I'm paraphrasing... will not God who has our eternal well being chastise us?
And in the case of people in high place of leadership among God's people He has the welfare of His people in view, what about His love them-ward?
No, no Moses understood all these things very well and I do not doubt he blessed God for it. Speaking personally I'm glad God doesn't let me get away with much, I soon am made to smart.
*
I am glad you bring out the fact that the great law-giver was the meekest man on earth, I don't think Charlton Heston played Moses very well.

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Very well put! Will respond in detail when time permits. Thank you, TL! :)

#9 Adam Nagy

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 05:24 PM

Totton,

I want to commend you as well, for these profound posts. You are giving me perspective on some issues that I'm chewing on at the present regarding the OT. Thanks!

#10 jason777

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 06:42 PM

Moses did sin,but the Lord understood that he sinned in frustration.He had 100,000 nagging people on him 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.Thats enough to frustrate anybody and the reason why the Lord disciplined Moses,but did'nt condemn him.

#11 Dave

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 08:46 PM

Off the top of my head, I'm vaguely recalling a Bible lesson on that passage. It's something like: Jesus is the water of life, so striking the rock twice implied that Jesus' gift of life is insufficient on its own, without us having to do works to earn it.

Someone once said that when coming upon a difficult passage all you have to do is insert the Lord Jesus in there, and it will make sense.

Dave

#12 LightSeeker

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 03:54 PM

*
Well be fair, how old was Moses? 120 years old? ooh you are overlooking so much about the extraordinary love between God and His servant here, it was so tender, God allowed Moses to see the promised land from the mountain but as the children of Isreal were marching in Moses died in sweetest fellowship with God there in the mountain, and didn't you read that God [personally] buried him in the land of Moab-there is so much glory there.
And what about the prophetic implications of all this? that the law shall shall not inherit the promises.
Listen because you and I fall short with God and He punishes us, He does not do so in anger or hatred, God is full of mercy toward His people.
Hebrews teaches us [like you say] that if earthly fathers discipline their children and that for their own [convenience] ...I'm paraphrasing... will not God who has our eternal well being chastise us?
And in the case of people in high place of leadership among God's people He has the welfare of His people in view, what about His love them-ward?
No, no Moses understood all these things very well and I do not doubt he blessed God for it. Speaking personally I'm glad God doesn't let me get away with much, I soon am made to smart.
*
I am glad you bring out the fact that the great law-giver was the meekest man on earth, I don't think Charlton Heston played Moses very well.

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I agree, 'Ol Chalrie didn;t perform to the truest portrayal!

...and didn't you read that God [personally] buried him in the land of Moab-there is so much glory there.

My study so far has been slow and dliberate - haven't gotten there yet. Do you have a scripture reference. As well as for Uzziah and his 'Big Mistake"?
:blink:

All this being said, and very enlightening, I think we are deviating form the original question.

What, specifically, was Moses' disobedient act?
I agree that a waver in faith could be an attribure (striking the rock twice).. Also age, fatique and the management of thousands of wavering Isrelaites. A note on the passage that brought up the question:

NU20:10 "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?"


I sense an increase in pride or ego in this verse - an elevation of Moses' humility in the presence of the Company. Note "We bring you water... followed by a direct declaration from the Lord stating Moses did not regard Him as Holy:

NU 20:12 "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."


Could it be that the "we" he was referring to was implying the camp look to himself and Aaron for the miraculous answer to the dilemma?

From my own previous readings and biblical reviews to date, this appears to be the only time that Moses eludes to having any power, authority or ability of himself to accomplish anything without mentioning the Lord? Later on in the chapters, Moses does state that he the Isrealites were the cause of his disobedience, but the specific act is what I am inquiring of.

At 120 years old, I am quite certain the amount of patience I would display with my "bretheren" should they continue to whine after being freed from Egypt would be minimal!

#13 the totton linnet

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 06:07 PM

I agree, 'Ol Chalrie didn;t perform to the truest portrayal!

My study so far has been slow and dliberate - haven't gotten there yet. Do you have a scripture reference. As well as for Uzziah and his 'Big Mistake"?
:blink:

All this being said, and very enlightening, I think we are deviating form the original question.

What, specifically, was Moses' disobedient act?
I agree that a waver in faith could be an attribure (striking the rock twice).. Also age, fatique and the management of thousands of wavering Isrelaites. A note on the passage that brought up the question:
I sense an increase in pride or ego in this verse - an elevation of Moses' humility in the presence of the Company. Note "We bring you water... followed by a direct declaration from the Lord stating Moses did not regard Him as Holy:
Could it be that the "we" he was referring to was implying the camp look to himself and Aaron for the miraculous answer to the dilemma?

From my own previous readings and biblical reviews to date, this appears to be the only time that Moses eludes to having any power, authority or ability of himself to accomplish anything without mentioning the Lord? Later on in the chapters, Moses does state that he the Isrealites were the cause of his disobedience, but the specific act is what I am inquiring of.

At 120 years old, I am quite certain the amount of patience I would display with my "bretheren" should they continue to whine after being freed from Egypt would be minimal!

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To pick up the last point 1st actually at the time of crossing the Jordan into the promised land Moses was 160 years old
I don't say that Moses sinned or disobeyed, he dishonoured God by not simply doing the easy thing God told him to do, he did a little more than God had said as if to show that the plain word of God is not enough-besides his anger it appears his own trust wavered.
Just an aside to that point, do WE do the simple commands of the Lord? He says lay hands on the sick and they shall recover, very simple command, until you are faced with someone in great need-we baulk don't we? suddenly there are 1001 reasons for not simply doing what God has commanded, pretty soon we develop whole doctrines as to why this command is not applicable to us personally, we are all desperately weak here.
The last chapter of Deuteronomy tells of Moses on Mt Nebo overlooking the promised land-what joy he must have had, the Lord was with him, as his gaze took in all the land, Gilead as far as Dan, Mannasseh and Judah, his eyes rested there I'm sure for he knew that from Judah would come the Messiah. He died there and God buried him in Moab.
Uzzah is in 6th of 2. Samuel. that IS a tough nut to crack, even David was upset at that, we do have to accept that the Lord is holy and it is just during times when He is especially manifesting Himself to us in His Presence that you have to be extraordinarily careful, walk softly before Him. Let unbelievers act and speak as they will.
One thing to be assured of in the old testament days is that although God dealt with them after the manner of blessing for obedience and cursing for disobedience, their salvation was assured, King Saul was rejected as king and eventually lost his life but he will be in heaven. You have to see Isreal as a strangely isolated nation, insular and cut off, very much a close knit family, their society, in it's better days was so regulated that everyone's needs were catered for, there was no need for covetousness or any other sin to grow up among them unless they chose wilfully to disobey [which of course they did] when God moves in great revival power in the church He deals after a rather stricter fashion with us as well.
It wasn't difficult to obey God, they had the direct command through the prophet or priest, now WE have the direct commands of God written down, what St Peter calls the more sure word of prophesy, if we were to read the bible as though the prophet were speaking God's direct word to us personally. The word written down is exactly as powerful as the spoken word of God through Elijah.
I heard an old fashioned pentecostal preach telling about the old guy who came grumbling for prayer, the guy said "I've been deaf in one ear all my life, never have heard with it and I've been to all the preachers [he named many of the healing ministries of the old days] I've been to 'em all and never got healed." the preacher was wise from dealing with people most of his life, he knew the guy was so discouraged and apathetic he couldn't be helped so he jabbed his finger into his chest "the trouble with you is you are lazy" of course the guy was a bit shaken up by that "you are so lazy you don't bother to read what the bible says" the guy was getting a little angry now and this gave the preacher hope. He said turn to psalm 103v2 "bless the Lord o my soul and forget not all His benefits, Who forgiveth all thine iniquities." the preacher asked him who he thought "thine" referred to in this case, "well I s'pose it'll be mine" came the reply. "Let's go on, verse 3, Who healeth all thine diseases, who do you think thine referred to now?" a slow smile of comprehension spread across the old guy's face "well... he said... you make it so simple, I never saw it before, it must be mine." The preacher prayed for the deaf ear and it was opened instantly and the fella went away shaking his head and chuckling "I never saw it that way before."




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