"Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals.’ So Moses took the rod from before the LORD as He commanded him. And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock; and he said to them, ‘Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?’ Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank. Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.’" (Numbers 20.7-12).
Lest there be any confusion of thought to the contrary, Moses was a man; his feet were made of clay just as any other man. Though his life was spent in helping others and in rescuing multitudes from physical and spiritual danger, he was not immune from the dangers that befell others. As a prophet of God, he predicted the coming of a Mighty Prophet, one whose work would eclipse his own, but Moses knew that he was mortal. As a prophet, he was spoken of as one "…whom the LORD knew face to face." (Deuteronomy 34.19). Scores of times Moses appeared in the very presence of God and received instruction relative to Israel and their wellbeing and scores of times he brought back wise counsel. However, when all was said and done, Moses was a man with the ability to chose to do good or evil, just the same as you and I. Much of the time he chose the good, but occasionally, he made wrong choices; Moses was mortal, erring man!
From the fact that Moses was but mere man when it came to sin we can deduce that God’s plan was to make use of mortal men in the delivery of His word. Angels spoke to man in the Old Testament and they also spoke to human beings in the New Testament. However, never, never did God choose to directly save a mortal man from eternal ruin through the words of an angel; He always used men to save men. The Ethiopian Nobleman, Saul of Tarsus, and Cornelius and many, many others bear witness to this fact (see Acts 8,9, and 10). The point made here is of vital importance: God does not demand perfection of those who bear the gospel to others nor should we reject the message of any man merely because of his humanness! Truth is truth regardless of the character of the messenger! When it comes to the truth, we are all a bit hypocritical; we want only to hear it from someone who is all but above sin, all the while knowing that truth teaches that no one is above sin!
Moses, God’s mighty prophet of many seasons, was but a man. Yet, in spite of his humanity, he was able to do a mighty work and make an everlasting impact on the landscape of righteousness. The devil would have us believe that because we are imperfect, we cannot do great things! Moses didn’t believe that message and he challenges us to reject it also!
1. What did Moses do wrong in regards to bringing water out of the rock?
2. What effect did Moses’ own shortcomings have on the validity of the message he delivered?
3. Who taught the Gospel to Cornelius (Acts 10)? Was there an angel anywhere in the process? Was the gospel preached to Cornelius by a man or by an angel?
4. If God has ordained that men preach to other men, what does that say for allowing personal wrongs to stand in the way of declaring the truth to others?
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