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Monday: The Sin of Moses ~ Part 2 — 14 Comments

  1. In our modern world, leadership is often portrayed as a position of privilege, and power. When you are the top dog in the corporate or political pile, you can command and get things done. People listen to you. And you get paid enormous sums of money. But leadership is also a position of responsibility. People look up to leaders and expect them to do the right thing. Recently, here in NSW, the Premier of the state was given a bottle of wine as a gift from a developer. He did not report it and someone found out about it and the story flared up in the media. The Premier was forced to resign because it was considered a possible bribe.

    Moses was a leader and in a position of responsibility. In a sense, he was teaching the embryonic nation how to relate to God, and in that one act of striking the rock, twice, he broke that trust.

    All of us have positions of responsibility. We may not be leaders of the nation or the church. We may just be a Sabbath School teacher of a little class in a little church. We too have the responsibility to maintain the trust.

  2. Was it one rash act? At the beginning of the 40 years when the LORD told the Israelite army none of them would enter into the Promised Land he told Moses that he would also not enter the Promised Land, so all through the wanderings in the wilderness Moses already knew he was not going into the Promised Land. In fact he begged the LORD to change His mind but He said No! Deut 3:23-26.

    What did the Israelites learn? Could it be that because of their rebellion against the LORD their intercessor also had to suffer? Deut 1:37; Deut 4:21

    • Thanks for sharing that insight Shirley, that is definitely something I missed in the story and sheds new light on it for me.

    • Yes indeed, reminds me of Christ. Because of our sins, Christ had to suffer.
      1 Corinthians 1:18.
      We realize that it implies, because of us, Christ died in our stead.

      • God gives us His Son to die in our place. Here the word power encompases the powerful and wonderful grace God has for us. What a Great God we have. 1John 4:9.

    • This is very amazing, Shirley Debeer, as to how 40 years before the event of Moses striking the Rock twice etc., God had already told Moses that he would not allow him to enter into the promised land. Apparently, God had more lessons of faith for His people to learn later with more leaders other than Moses etc. And here we are even now and many, many years later and even after God's own Son Jesus etc. What an awesome and merciful God we serve to continue giving us more time to live for Him and witness for Him etc.

      • Pete, it was *after* Moses disobeyed by striking the rock twice that the Lord told Moses and Aaron that neither of them would enter the Promised Land because of their disobedience. That was right after the rebellion at Kadesh. See Numbers 20:7-12.
        Near the end of his life, Moses begged the Lord to let him enter the land, hoping the Lord would relent, but He would not. See Deut 3:23-26.

        • However, Inge Anderson, it was in Moses' account of the rebellion of the 10 spies, which was 40 years before he struck the rock twice that Moses makes mention of God being angry with him for their sake etc. and again spoke of the same rock at Meribah and goes on to say that God did not allow him to enter Canaan etc. I can understand why Moses would strike the rock twice 40 years a later: He struck the rock "once" 40 years earlier and God brought out water out of it then, so how much more 40 years later if he struck it twice this time etc. But no, Moses was supposed to "speak" to the rock this time but he lost sight of what God had just told him to do etc. EGW indicates very clearly that God did not charge Moses with "Intentional Sin" with this event either so He just kept Moses from entering the Earthly Canaan and had him die first and then raised him to enter the Heavenly Canaan.

          • The exact dates and times really are not extremely important, in the sense of what we are discussing here today, Moses' lack of faith in God (We all have moments of lapse of faith at some time in our lives). However, Ms. Inge is correct, these events did not happen together. The spying out of the land took place in Numbers 13:4-16, which list the "12" spies. The event at Kadesh happened in Numbers 20: therefore, these are two separate events, one of not depending on the other.

            Did these two events take place weeks, months or years apart? I don't know. But also, I can't assume that just because Numbers 20:1 says "in the first month", that it was the first month of the children of Israel leaving Egypt (maybe or maybe not); it's hard to tell because of translation from Hebrew to Greek to Latin to English. Also, it could be referring to the "first month" of the year, no one can say.

            But what is important, as Sister Inge said, that the Lord told Moses that he would not enter the Promised Land after the Kadesh event; any other conclusion is just speculation. However, I do know the verses you are referring to in Numbers 14:24, 30, and 38. But just because The Lord omitted Moses and Aaron names from these verses, doesn't not mean that The Lord was telling Moses that he would not enter the Promised Land, at that time. The Lord give Moses this message to tell the people that because of their continual rebellion against The Lord, they would not enter the land, but their children would inherit the Promised Land. It is presumption and/or speculation to read anything else into the The Lord's message of Numbers 14; please read the entire chapter.

            Prayerfully, I'm really not trying to debate this issue at all, but I'm just pointing out that The Lord's decision to not let Moses cross over into the Promised Land was not based on any other event, but solely based on this "one event" in Numbers 20. Moses made the conscious choices to act or react to the people in Numbers 20, which is similar to Adam's conscious choice to eat the fruit that his wife, Eve, gave to him, in Genesis 3. Both of these men, Moses and Adam were extraordinary leaders, they both knew The Lord better than anyone else, and they knew what The Lord said personally to both of them; therefore, they both should have trusted in God more, instead of trusting, or reacting, to people or to his wife, Eve. So, both of them had to bear the heaviest of consequences for their choices.

            I do wish anyone have a Blessed and Safe Holiday seasons. God blessings to you all.

    • Yes Dear Sis Sherley,you are correct. For the Lord knew that Moses wasn't going to make it to Canaan.Because of "lack of faith"' says Sis E.G.White.

  3. Shirley, thank you for your insight. Our
    Father, God, knows everything from the beginning to the end and in between. Moses took the credit for bringing forth water instead of following God’s command to speak to the rock, not bang it twice with his rod. Disobedience and pride is why Moses was denied entry into the promised land.
    The spoken word can make great things happen for us today when we give the credit to Jehovah, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

  4. Contrary to what the lesson proposes, I do not believe that Moses was attempting to take the place of God - even if that is what the outcome appears to look like. So what was going on?

    When I take time to carefully consider and reflect, what I notice is that there is remarkable similarity, in principle, between what happened here with Moses and what happened at the tree in Genesis 3:6. In both instances, we fundamentally have people who, in-the-moment, lost hold of their trust connection with God and in doing so instead resorted (in the case of Eve) or defaulted (in the case of Moses) to self-seeking as their underpinning principle that consequently shaped their subsequent thoughts, attitude and actions... or more accurately, reactions.

    Flowing on from this, we then see why God needed to 'decommission' Moses as the leader of Israel. Moses, who was essentially a type/representative of Christ to the Israelites, had responded to them from personal frustration - a self-seeking phenomenon. Contrast this with the response of Jesus in Matthew 23:37 to another group of "rebels". Jesus response was pure other-centered compassion that fuelled His sadness for their loss and self-destruction that their 'attitude' was leading them to. Consequently, God needed to show Israel that the way Moses had responded to them was not how He - God - their ultimate leader, would respond to them.

    I appreciate that it can appear to sound too simplistic to keep tying everything back to whether we respond from a heart-motive of self-seeking or other-benefiting, but it really does seem boil down to that each time. For example, that is precisely the issue that constituted Lucifer's fall (Isaiah 14:13-14; Ezekiel 28:17-18) and subsequently Eve's (Genesis 3:6). Those who hold to a predominate heart-based tendency toward other-benefiting are part of the Kingdom of God. On the other hand, those who cultivate a heart-based tendency to self-seeking - as per the description in Genesis 6:5 - are part of the Kingdom of Darkness - a Kingdom of inherent (self-) destruction.

    This is why, while man looks to outward behaviours when trying to understand a situation, God instead is looking at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). And David, understanding this, responded to his 'fall' into self-seeking by asking for a clean heart that was accompanied by a right Spirit (Psalm 51:10) - the Spirit who along with God and Jesus has other-benefiting love as their core.

    • Yes, and AMEN, God be Praised. The Holy Spirit is working; I was thinking some of the same things about the parallels between the decision of Moses in Numbers 20, and the decision Adam made in Genesis 3. All I can say is "Wow, Holy Spirit".

      Also, I was thinking that God knew already that Moses (and Adam) had some character flaws, and that's why He, The Lord, didn't leave our Salvation in the hands of these men, or any other man. Right after Adam sinned, The Lord give him the prophecy of His Son coming to this Earth to redeem man; Genesis 3:15, " And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." Note: "her seed" is not plural, but single, meaning that The One seed would redeem man from "thy seed", the seed of the enemy, Satan, or the devil.

      But also, as I was reading the last few chapters in Deuteronomy, chapters 31 thru 34, I had another thought or concept; I just started reading about this a couple days ago, so I may not have this thought totally accurate in my mind, so bear with me. As Moses told the children of Israel in Deuteronomy 31:2, "“I am one hundred and twenty years old today. I can no longer go out and come in. Also the Lord has said to me, ‘You shall not cross over this Jordan.’" Moses was trying to tell them that very soon he was going to die, any day now, because we are already near the river Jordan. Then in Deuteronomy 34, God tells Moses to go up into the Moab mountains, and there He would show Moses all the Promised Land that the children of Israel were about to possess. God laid him to rest and buried him somewhere in those mountains.

      Here's my point, God may have taken this action, of secretly burying Moses' body, because of a well-known practice of "Ancestor Worship". It was very familiar and very popular in the Egyptian world, where the children of Israel lived for almost several centuries. It is evident that Joseph had some concept of these practices, that why he insisted, or requested before dying, that his bones would not be left in Egypt, Exodus 50:25 (Also, this verse shows that God give Joseph a small glimpse of His deliverance of the people out of Egypt). In my opinion, God knew that if Moses had died as other people do, and the people buried his body, there would have probably following into the "Ancestor Worship" of Moses. I don't know a lot about this concept, and I definitely discourage its practice. Also, the Bible doesn't tell us how long Moses' body was secretly buried in the mountain, just that Jude 9 that The Lord contented with the enemy over the body of Moses, and prevailed; I think it is in this week's Sabbath School lesson as well.

      Again, I already said that I know very little about "Ancestor Worship", so please don't send me a lot of replies against this concept. I love to learn new things, however, I'm not sure if I want to research or learn too much about this practice. But it does still exist in other cultures around the world.

      Be Blessed everyone!

  5. I feel that God just chose to not allow Moses to enter Canaan for the same reason that He did not allow Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to not go in either. God very clearly told Moses that He would allow "The Descendants" of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to inherit Canaan and it was very much so when God allowed Joshua with the new generation of Israelites to enter there etc. But again, the true Canaan will not be there for anyone except for those of "Faith" and for the "Earth made new in Jesus," some day in the future.


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