Today I want to continue talking about why Moses wasn’t allowed to enter into the promised land. Moses lost his patience and he suffered a great punishment for it. I don’t look down on or judge Moses for this moment of weakness. I guarantee, I would’ve broke years earlier. After reading the long and difficult life story of Moses, it’s a little sad when you get to this point and realize he’s not going to get to share in the fruits of all of his labor. But I think it serves as a really important reminder to us about God’s glory. Moses acted in a manner that assigned God’s miraculous work to himself. Moses acted in a manner that turned a loving miracle into an angry display. Instead of another in a long line of miraculous reminders that God loved them and would continue to care for them, the people of Israel saw Moses angrily claim responsibility for this miracle. Note that he says “shall we bring water for you out of this rock?”. He doesn’t say anything about God. Moses just basically says here, you rebels! You say you’re thirsty? I’ll give ya some water! WHACK! WHACK!
God gives power to people. God gives talent to people. For example, I appreciate great pastors. I admire them a lot, actually. But I don’t assign any glory to them, and I promise you, the good ones wouldn’t want it. They are not great pastors because of themselves, they are great pastors because they’ve been obedient to God. They listen to His voice, they spend time studying His word, and they obediently get up in front of a crowd and deliver His wisdom and truth. I appreciate them for this. I admire them for it. But the glory in the situation belongs to God. When I pray for pastors, I thank God for their obedience and for the work He does through them. I ask Him to give them strength, focus, rest, and blessings. And I know for a fact that when the time comes for these great pastors to stand before the Lord, they’re going to get all the glory they could ever ask for when they hear Him say “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” It’s the end result we should all be working towards, and as such we should take Moses’ mistake to heart and be certain that we’re never puffing ourselves up and trying to get glory for or take responsibility for any work He may be doing through us.
If you’re struggling with the concept of all glory belonging to God, I’d suggest two things. First, get deeper into His word. As you start to learn and understand more about who and what He is, you start to understand why He’s the only one deserving of glory. Secondly, trust that God will keep His promises and tend to your needs. God is aware of your desires, He’s aware of your emotional state. Trust in Him to give you what you need to get by, be it strength, focus, conviction, deeper faith, or maybe even a bit of encouragement and love from someone. He’s a good good father, He will not leave His people untended. If you find yourself in a season where it feels like things are tough, embrace it! Maybe God’s giving you a chance to grow, maybe He’s toughening you up for an even bigger challenge in your future. Trust Him. Believe Him. And to do those things, you first have to know Him. Get your nose in His book, learn God’s character. It will be the best thing you could possibly ever do.
You know, there’s one final thing that occurs to me about this part of Moses’s life. Never once did Moses complain about God’s punishment. Not when He handed it down and not when it came to pass at the end of Moses’ life. More than most people, Moses knew who the Lord was. He spent time in conversation with Him, he’d been given a front row seat to an ongoing series of God’s miracles. This is just me speculating here, but I think Moses knew full well that he deserved the punishment he was given. I feel like when you read the entire account of his life, you come to have a great understanding of who Moses was. He’s someone who knew that glory belonged to God and God alone, therefore he knew the gravity of the mistake he made when breaking the rock and taking the credit. And I believe with all of my heart that, despite his flaws and his misstep here with breaking the stone and bringing forth water, when Moses did pass away he was greeted by God with that sweet, sweet sentence. Well done, my good and faithful servant.
PRAYER AND CLOSING
Father God, I thank you for leading me to this subject because it’s one I’ve struggled with. I struggled with the idea of how much credit belongs to your servants and how much belongs to you. Lord, I thank you that my understanding of you has grown deeper over time, that I can now confidently stand in your presence and say that all the credit is yours. You are all that is good in me, you are the author of my salvation, the source of my joy. I ask right now that you help anyone who struggles with this concept to fully understand what it means. Let us be a people that loses all desire for our own glory, let us labor only to bring glory to you instead, God. I trust that you’ve got me on all levels, that I can work for your glory because you will give me anything I need along the way. So often you’ve sensed when I need encouragement, and along comes someone to provide it. Why would I ever bother to seek encouragement or acknowledgement on my own when instead I can trust that you’ll provide it at the perfect time in the perfect way? Let my reliance on you deepen, Lord, let that be true for all believers. Fill us with that trust where we can leap into your arms unafraid of what that means for ourselves. I don’t have to worry about a thing, not a single thing, because you are with me and you are for me and you are the God of the universe. You are the cosmic God, the galactic God, the creator of solar systems and the creator of molecules. If you’ve got the orbits of the planets under control, and you’ve set watch over the birds of the sky, then I can rest in the comfort that you’ve got my life and my needs taken care of. And I just thank you so deeply for the freedom that provides me, the freedom to worship you and serve you with abandon. Burn within me God like an everlasting flame, because I never want to do anything less than everything for you. Thank you for loving me, and for loving all people. I ask right now that anyone who doesn’t know you on a personal level, that you’ll encounter them this very day. Make this a day of divine encounter, Father, reveal yourself to those who have misconceptions of you, show them what you’re really about. Give them a chance to feel the joy and freedom that I feel. Thank you for all that you are, and thank you for the way you’re still reaching out and saving people today. This world scares me on a lot of levels, things seem so dark in society, but I know you aren’t finished yet. You aren’t giving up, there are still souls to be saved. I thank you that you’re still in that process, that we’re still in a season of your patience. Use me to win souls, Lord, help me be an agent for you that can reach those who don’t know you yet. I love you, Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
I love you guys. I hope you got through the week unscathed and that you have a safe and enjoyable weekend. I really feel that God’s really reaching out and drawing people in. One of the ways that he does that is through His people, so stay aware of any chances you might have to share God’s love with those around you. God loves us so much, and let’s rejoice in any chance we get to share that with others.