I always get sad when I read the story of Moses striking the rock to get water. The poor man has given so much to the people of Israel. He has helped them follow God through the wilderness. He has been their intercessor on so many occasions. He has listened to their complaints and whining. He has tried and he has given.
As a mom, I feel like I can identify with Moses on some level. There have been days when I just can’t take the complaints and whining any longer. “We are having chicken for dinner because that is what I made”. “No, you can’t have candy for breakfast”. “Don’t do that, it isn’t nice.” And the breaking point, “BECAUSE I SAID SO!”
I imagine Moses in the desert, wondering, “why don’t they get it?” God has shown miracle after miracle and the people are still complaining against Him, doubting Him. With the same level of drama as my seven year old daughter, I imagine the Israelites saying, “I can’t believe you brought us all this way, just to die of thirst”.
Moses once again goes to their Provider and asks for His mercy and blessings. God replies, “of course”. God instructs Moses to take the staff, go to the people and speak to the rock. But, Moses has reached his breaking point. He doesn’t go and speak to the people, he lashes out at them.
That hurts. To see myself in that breaking moment. It is tough. I can feel his regret.
God’s response, however is even more difficult for me to swallow. Moses will not be going into the Promised Land. It breaks my heart. God’s reasoning for this severe punishment? Moses had as much doubt as the people he was leading. He struck the rock because He didn’t believe in God’s voice to make it happen.
The thing that I just learned, in researching this event, is that this must have seemed like a bad reoccurring dream for Moses, Aaron and God. The place in which they are currently camped is the same place that the spies returned with a negative report of Canaan, forty years earlier. It is the same place that the children of Israel first turned their back on God and their punishment was forty years of wandering.
It was just too much for Moses. They were so close to entering the land of milk and honey, and he must have felt like they were back at square one.
Where was his intercessor? I want to know, who was willing to go to God on behalf of Moses? He had rescued so many people from the punishment they deserved and there was no one willing to speak up for him. And then, I remember, they can’t. No one could go to God for him. The veil had not been torn. No one was worthy enough to be in His presence.
Ugh, more heartbreak, and then praise!
Thank you, Jesus. Thank you for making it possible for me to be in His presence. Thank you for washing away all of my breaking moments. Thank you for being my intercessor.