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Feb 25, 2017
God's Delight in Being Believed


God Delights to be Believed

February 26,2017

Pastor/Teacher Roger Redmond

Numbers 27:12-14   And the LORD said unto Moses, Get thee up into this mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given unto the children of Israel. And when thou hast seen it, thou also shalt be gathered unto thy people, as Aaron thy brother was gathered. For ye rebelled against my commandment in the desert of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify me at the water before their eyes: that is the water of Meribah in Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.

Numbers 20:1-13, Exodus 17:1-7

What exactly took place at Meribah with Moses and why did he fail to obey the LORD. First let's get a firm understanding of all that happened at Meribah in Kadesh.

Moses was caught up in the diffidence of the Congregation.

In the midst of their testing, they put aside their faith and chose to doubt God's character.  How many times had they experienced the faithfulness of God?  Why do we hesitate to believe God when the way get tough or dark or when we can't see how it is possible.

The Bible says Moses rebelled against the LORD's commandment to sanctify Him at the waters before their eyes. What Moses did prevented the people from seeing the Character of God.

He intervenes in our Life according to His Purpose

Now God establishes this water from the previous water experience.  You notice the LORD put the place as "in the strife of the congregation" The people were complaining, blaming Moses, finding fault with God.  Saying things like: Why didn't You leave me alone?  Why didn't You provide for me?  You know all the things we say to keep from being obedient to Him.  See Numbers 20:1-12.

The beautiful thing about this story is this, in spite of the false narrative they are putting forth by their unbelief; He was going to meet their need.  But He wanted them to learn a great truth about Him and His provision not only for them but for all of mankind.

There is the Bible doctrine of Salvation and of daily cleansing taught at these two water experiences.   When unbelief is practiced in our life, we send forth the wrong message about God.

The Love, Grace and Mercy of God does not depended upon man's Faithfulness

"He never grows weary of ministering to the needs of His people" from C.H. Machkintosh page 393, "Notes on Numbers".  And He wants that to be known!  That is why it is necessary for you to exercise faith in Him before others.

We have no merit on which to demand or expect anything from our Great God and Saviour but yet He loved, He gave, He provided.   Now look what He said in Numbers 20:13 "This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the LORD, and he was sanctified in them." Moses and Aaron did not sanctify Him but He was sanctified.  You may choose not to serve the LORD but that will not change the Purpose of the LORD. Your unbelief will not alter His Character.  When you choose to practice unbelief it is you that will lose the blessing.  The point is that Moses lost sight of the Faithfulness of God.  In spite of their doings He provided them water and bought them to the Promised Land.

It is not up to us to find fault with God or to be His counselor.  Moses called them "rebels".  Rom_9:20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

He gave the Gospel for the World to know Him.

Definition of Sanctify" OT:6942 qadash (kaw-dash'); a primitive root; to be (causatively, make, pronounce or observe as) clean (ceremonially or morally): KJV - appoint, bid, consecrate, dedicate, defile, hallow, (be, keep) holy (-er, place), keep, prepare, proclaim, purify, sanctify (-ied oneself,), wholly.

(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

Moses failed to speak out the Word of The LORD.  He failed to enact God's will.

There was a previous encounter with the Rock and water, Exodus 17:1-7

The strife of the congregation was the people's conflict with the LORD:  They tempted the LORD and chided with Moses and the LORD.  In blaming Moses, they were tempting God, saying He was not among them. (The Antonym for chide is praise)

This second encounter with the Rock and water, Numbers 20: 1-12 takes place many years later.  A different group of people but still the same issue, quarreling with God and blaming Moses.  Moses and Aaron are getting old, their sister Miriam has just died.  Num 20:3 And the people chode with Moses, and spake, saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the LORD!  Num 20:4 And why have ye brought up the congregation of the LORD into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there?  Num 20:5 And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink.

God's Word to Moses

Num 20:6 And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto them.  Num 20:7  And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,  Num 20:8  Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink. There was nothing said in this encounter about striking the rock.

The Rock Points to Christ

He was to speak to the Rock this time.   First time Moses was to strike the Rock.  I believe the Rock speaks of Christ 1 Cor: 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. This is a type of Christ smitten for us.  Striking the Rock speaks to His death on the Cross. Heb 9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.  Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 9:28. He can only die one time.  Speaking to the Rock goes to our daily fellowship with Christ: our life as one who is saved.  1John 1:9; 2:1. This is one of the lessons taught in John 13:1-10 i.e. 10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet,"

Why did Moses disobey God?

He knew the Gospel, Hebrews 11:24-28.  There seem to be some hesitancy, indecision in obeying God.  If you don't believe God you fail to sanctify Him.  There must be a sense of urgency.   Moses did not assert himself at this time.  He did not speak out the Will of God.  He spoke inadvisably Psa_106:33 Because they provoked his spirit, so that he spake unadvisedly with his lips.  You can't pass the buck!  Can't play the blame game!  Moses failed to assert his leadership.  He failed to declare the LORD: His Word, His purpose, His grace, His faithfulness.  There was no one to speak for the LORD.  There was no one to present the truth about the LORD.

What lesson do we learn from Moses? 

We must exert our leadership.    This requires a sense of urgency for Christ to be served, honored by each of us.


  • His Word is to be announced. It is not about saying His Word with our lips, but hearing His Word speaking to us. Eph. 4:20-21
  • His intentions are to be pronounced. Every good and perfect gift is from Him. Eph. 3:8-9
  • His will is to be done in earth as it is in heaven. It means to known His Will- it is done in heaven? His Word is His Will. 1 Cor. 2:10
  • Everything is to be done unto Him, and for Him. This does require that one would die to self, deny their self, and take up their cross and follow Christ. Romans 13:11
  • The LORD is our life. He is above all. Col. 1:18

We are to be ready always to give the answer for the faith that is in us.  Delayed obedience may be disobedience, Duet 1:39-42.  There was some hesitancy, indecision in obeying God.  If you don't believe God you fail to sanctify Him.  That means His character can't be seen by those who need Him, 2Co 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

You sanctify Him by how you serve Him.  Halfhearted won't get it done.  Others know when your hearts not in it.  Illustration:  A leader and he were never prepared, never on time, always left a question mark about his place before the Lord.  Later he was convicted as a pedophile.

The LORD is looking for someone who is dedicated to Him. For someone who will take a job and do it unto Him.  That is acceptable behavior in the church.



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