Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” (Numbers 20:12)
Bible students have long struggled with how the consequences of Moses’ actions fit the crime. In other words, comparing his sin with that of the congregation, many of whom went into the land, it is a bit puzzling. The famous Jewish commentator Ramban said, “The matter is a great secret of the mysteries of the Torah.” Another rabbinic commentator said, his sin was that the people saw his anger as a reflection of God. Then there is the view proposed by Rashi, yet another oft quoted sage, who said it was simply that he struck the rock instead of speaking to it as commanded. It is quite possible, maybe likely, that all of these views are accurate.
There is still another view that merits our attention which is is hinted at by the phrase “in their eyes.” One interpretation of the Hebrew wording implies that Moses was to speak to the rock in such a way that the people would see something rather than merely know it. In other words, their understanding of the experience would go beyond the normal limitations of human perception. They would “see” something very spiritual in the natural occurrence and, consequently, their lack of belief would be transformed into great belief allowing them, as a nation, to rise to new heights. However, according to this particular theory, even though the water flowed, Moses had failed to allow for this understanding when he struck the rock.
So what does all of that mean? Well, if we consider that Messiah is the Rock, as Paul plainly says He is, then He was struck twice instead of just once. He was supposed to be bruised and battered and hung upon the tree but only once. Because Moses struck the rock a second time — if this interpretation is correct — as a consequence, the people could not perceive what they were to see — the Messiah. They didn’t see and, to a large degree, still can’t see the Messiah as their source and savior. Thus we learn how important it is that we walk in complete obedience; our failure to do so, not only carries negative consequences for us, but can have a negative impact on others — and for many years.
If that is so, then it is also true that our obedience and faithfulness to God can have the same affect in a positive way. What we do today has a beneficial impact on our children, grandchildren and beyond. We’re not just looking out for ourselves by walking upright before God but, by His Spirit and power, we are exhibiting a proper example for future generations. Think about that as you go through your day and are presented with opportunity to be a light. It just might be that, through your actions, others will “see” the Messiah and be transformed into a new creation.
Blessings and Shalom,