The Darkest Chapter in Numbers (Numbers 20)
TEXT: Numbers 20:6-11
6 Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and fell facedown, and the glory of the LORD appeared to them. 7 The LORD said to Moses, 8 “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.” 9 So Moses took the staff from the LORD”s presence, just as he commanded him. 10 He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” 11 Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.
- What events are reported in the beginning and at the end of Numbers 20?
- What did Moses and Aaron do right at Kadesh?
- What did the two leaders do wrong?
TEXT: Exodus 34:5-7
Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. 6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.”
- Was God too harsh when he punished Moses?
- Based on what is said about Moses in the rest of the Bible, was he in the end punished or rewarded?
- Why is it so hard for humans to balance mercy with justice?
Lesson: Obedience matters to God.