Unbelief and its consequences

by Mark McIntyre

In Numbers 20, Moses is commanded by God to speak to the rock to initiate a flow of water to meet the Israelites needs.

In a fit of anger, Moses instead strikes the rock and the water gushes forth. God responds to this action by telling Moses, “Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” (Numbers 20:12)

In Moses’ previous episode of bringing water from a rock, he was commanded to strike the rock. So what is the big deal about Moses doing it the same way the second time? Isn’t God’s reaction a little extreme?

The short answer is no, God’s reaction is not extreme even though my initial reaction is to think so.

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Moses’ problem is also my problem, I struggle to believe God and act on that belief when He tells me something. God identifies Moses’ problem as lack of faith when He says, “because you have not believed . . . ”

I have observed in myself and others the tendency to do things in our own wisdom and relying on our own talents. Often, a train wreck ensues.

When I was young, much of  the church withdrew from the surrounding culture. We looked different and were often identified by the things we could not do. The church was intentionally out of style. The church stood firm on trivial issues like men’s hair length and women wearing pants. We successfully conveyed the message that those from the surrounding culture were not welcome in our church unless they cleaned themselves up to look like us…

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Unbelief and its consequences | Attempts at Honesty


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