Numbers chapter 20 records a lesson that most Bible students are familiar with. The heart of the lesson revolves around Moses and his emotions that got the better of him at the rock in Kadesh, along with the consequences that followed. I remembered a lot about Numbers 20, but I didn’t remember everything.
As I sat down to reread this chapter I remembered clearly the immense pressure that this great leader was under. I remembered that the people had gathered against him again. I remembered that they were complaining about his leadership again. I remembered that their hearts were looking back on all of their “fond memories” back in Egypt again. I remembered Moses cracking…metaphorically with his anger and literally with the stick. I remembered the heart breaking consequence of Moses’ decision to hit the rock instead of speaking to it.
One thing that I didn’t remember about Numbers 20 was how the chapter began! The chapter begins with the passing of Moses’ sister. When I read that, it caused me to stop and think. When I read that, it caused me to have more sympathy for Moses. When I read that, it caused me to wonder if the loss of Miriam had anything to do with Moses’ shorter than normal fuse at this stage in his life.
I’m not saying that Miriam’s death is an excuse for what happened in Kadesh . I’m just saying that sometimes the pressures of life build up. I’m just saying that when the “straws” of life build up, we need to be careful that we don’t let them break what we may not be able to put back together. While we will probably never find ourselves in the same sandals as Moses when it comes to leading a nation, we can probably all relate to having “straws” that pile up in life.
What do you think?