Showing God is Worthy of Our Trust (Numbers 20)

Numbers 20:1-13 is where the Israelites are complaining to Moses (again) about the lack of water. Moses and Aaron get on their faces and seek God and He gives very clear instructions:

Moses SPEAK to the rock and I will bring forth water. So Moses gathers the people and he STRIKES the rock and God (in His mercy) brings forth water.

Afterward, God disciplines Moses and Aaron and tells them because they didn’t “believe” Him enough to “sanctify” Him they would not be able to enter the promised land.

I have to tell you, for most of my life I’ve thought God was a little harsh on this. I mean the complaining Israelites would have been enough to make anyone crazy and after all there were so many times Moses had gotten it exactly right was this one time really worth robbing him of the pleasure of completing the work his life had been set aside to do?  Apparently, God thought so. Thankfully, I have enough reverence for God now that I realize *I* must be the one who doesn’t understand.

Let’s look for a moment at the heart of what God’s saying. He said they didn’t “believe” – the Hebrew word here is “aman” meaning to “support, confirm, be faithful.” Essentially God’s saying they were unfaithful. Which they were, because they did not obey the instructions God had given. (Side note that I’m not addressing is you also have to feel for Aaron… after all, Moses is the one who strikes the rock! It’s important to pray for your leadership to be aligned
with God!)

God also said, by not believing (i.e. being faithful, supporting His instructions) they did not sanctify Him. The Hebrew word here is “qadash” meaning “honored as holy.” The word holy has a number of meanings but a pertinent one that jumped out to me was “worth of complete devotion or trust.” In other words their actions showed God as not worthy of trust. Ouch!

Let’s pause for a moment and consider how many times we do this in our own lives. How often does God ask us to do things – even perhaps seemingly small things – and we disobey or don’t obey completely (which is still disobedience) or delay before obeying (which also can be disobedience). In doing so we are demonstrating to the world that God is not worthy of our trust.

But the fact is He is the only one who IS completely worthy of our trust. He is faithful. The only way we can honor God as faithful is to believe Him and to show Him as holy is to trust Him without reserve. Radical obedience. Truly there is no other kind… anything else would involve disobedience. It is that black and white… we either do what He says, or we don’t.

I think this point hits home for me so much right now because we are in a place of radical obedience in our lives. Most people think we’re a bit crazy. But how logical is it to speak to a rock and expect water to come out of it? He is God. We need to stop putting Him in a box and lay down the idol of our need to understand and simply walk in faith. Trust He is wiser than us. Trust that His plans for us are good. Trust that He knows what He’s doing. Believe and obey.

Sent from my iPod

10 Replies to “Showing God is Worthy of Our Trust (Numbers 20)”

  1. I love this, Meghan. There have been so many demonstrations in these past weeks since my husband’s car accident. God has reminded me again and again that trusting him is the best and only choice. Every time my thought strays to “what if” and “how will we ever get through this,” He reminds me that today, right this very minute, our needs are being met. He reminds me to not worry about tomorrow because all I need to do is trust Him and listen to Him right now. When I am obedient to that everything always turns out exactly the way it should.

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  3. Yes, believe and obey… it isn’t so simple all of the time, so I am grateful that God is patient, but sometimes getting things right in life can be as simple as believing and obeying. He really is worthy of our trust… therefore worthy of total obedience.

  4. “lay down the idol of our need to understand” …this is very poignant. Our idols are not always as clear as a golden calf.

  5. Pingback: Meghan W » Blog Archive » True to His Word (Numbers 23:19)

  6. This subject is near and close to my heart. Obedience is major!!! He is asking us to follow what He says… That means EXACTLY how He says to do it. This example is perfect to desrcibe or explain the level of obedience He wants from us. There are specific reasons to do or not to do what He is telling us. We aren’t required to know the “How” or “Why” or “What for”‘s. All we need are faith and trust. Allen posted “Believe.” That is exactly what we must do. Believe that He is who He says He is. Believe that He is capable of any and all things. Believe that He is in control. Believe that He is faithful. He will bring you through it. He will support you in your obedience. He will be faithful and never desert you. There is a greater purpose for what He is calling you to do and we don’t have to know it. It may never be revealed to us in this life, but you can trust that He will honor your obedience to Him.

    Thank you, Meghan, for your obedience to share so that we may glean knowledge and understanding.


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