Sometime during the 40th year after Israel came out of Egypt, on the cusp of the promised land, Israel complains again. There were many in that “horde” that had little to no memory of Egypt, but yet they complained about their desire to go back. Is it no wonder that Moses was so incredulous! Nevertheless, the Lord gave a remedy to the situation, but Moses’ anger was great when he saw the rebellion. He had been through this time and again; why was it that the people were so obstinate? The Lord gave the remedy, but Moses failed to execute it properly and, thus, was penalized for his failing (20:1-13).
Israel seeks passage through Edom to their destination, but this passage is refused (20:14-21).
The death of Aaron (20:22-29). Moses and Aaron were not allowed to go into the land promised the nation – just imagine their heartache at learning this news from the Lord. Instead, Moses was instructed to take Aaron and his son to Mount Hor and all three knew that Aaron would not come down – can you image the somber trip! It was on that mountain the Israel’s next High Priest was ordained.
Application: I have a great deal of sympathy for Moses in this predicament, but no matter the level of my sympathy I might have, he failed to implement the Lord’s word; I need to learn that no matter the feeling toward another who is in a hard way, the Lord’s will reigns. Balancing this with the Lord’s words in Matthew 9:9-13 is not as difficult as some might think.