Good morning. Our text today is Numbers 20:1-13. It has a couple of lessons that are important for us to learn. It supports the point of our slogan, “God said it…that settles it.” Moses has continuously been faithful to God and is, from a spiritual and secular position, the leader of Israel, numbering 2,000,000 or more. Israel is thirsty and God provides water from the rock. He tells Moses to speak to the rock, but instead, Moses strikes the rock. In so doing, he loses his privilege to enter the promised land. Let’s consider a couple of lessons about respect for authority from this event.
- God means for what he says to be followed precisely. Long ago, when I was a child, I heard Guy Woods present a lesson with these principles from the Bible. We must do what God says (Mt. 7:21; Mt. 4:4), the way God says (Heb. 8:5) and for the reason God says (1 Cor. 13:3Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16).
- Every person in authority is under the authority of God. Sometimes men let a little authority go to their head and they get to thinking they are ‘somebody.’ The truth is we all are just men. The authority lies in the position not in the person. And the person with authority is still subject to authority. Elders are under God and subject to the word of God. When they violate it, they too can be rebuked and even correctively disciplined (1 Cor. 5:19-20).
- A small disrespect for the authority of God can have huge consequences. Moses was justifiably angry with the people of God for their grumbling and complaining toward God and himself. Rather than acting with his head as God had commanded, he acted with his emotions which went beyond God’s will. A little thing, but Moses was refused entrance in the promised land. If unrepentant, we too may miss our promised land, Heaven.
This lesson is brief, but worthy of consideration in your home studies.