The LORD said to Moses, “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.” So Moses took the staff from the LORD’s presence, just as he commanded him. 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?” Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. 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.” Numbers 20:7-12
In the wilderness journey, the people grumble again to Moses about not having water. The Lord’s commands to Moses were to take his staff which symbolized his authority from God, and speak to the rock to cause water to come from it. Earlier in the journey the people grumbled about not having water, and God commanded Moses to take the staff and strike the rock to bring water for the people. This time Moses was only to speak to the rock. Moses, in anger at God’s people struck the rock twice, representing God as an angry temperamental God, rather than the compassionate, caring God He is. Moses’ disobedience led to God’s punishment for his sin – not leading the people into the Promised Land. Moses’ disobedience also made true God’s promise that all the men 20 years old or more, with the exception of Caleb and Joshua, would die in the wilderness and not enter the Promised Land. If only Moses had obeyed the Lord’s commands he too may have entered the Promised Land. What about us today? In John 14, Jesus says “If you love me, keep my commands.” Keep His commands, don’t miss out on His blessing.