While in the wilderness of Zin, the people were thirsty but there was no water for them to drink. The people began to complain to Moses, who prayed to God for a solution, and the Lord commanded him to speak to the rock so that it would yield water and quench everyone’s thirst, 20 Numbers.
Imagine a leader who, during 39 years, led about three million people through the desert, and in turn, they blamed him for every difficulty and frustration! In addition to this great responsibility, Moses still suffered quietly because of the death of his sister, Miriam.
In a moment of anger, he struck the rock twice instead of speaking to it. This reaction greatly saddened God, who prevented him from entering the Promised Land.
Perhaps you are thinking that what Moses did was not that bad and God would certainly understand his weakness, right? No, it’s not true. Things got really bad for Moses and his brother, Aaron. God judges the root of the sin and penetrates where the human eye cannot evaluate. The Most High does not care about the excuses a person uses to defend their mistake, because He cannot be convinced by any excuse used for the practice of sin. All He sees is the sin itself.
Thoughtlessly, Moses disobeyed what he was told to do. Water came out of the rock to quench the thirst of the people, but God rebuked him 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
Notice that Moses’ sin was not of the flesh, committed because of weakness or temptation; it was a spiritual sin. He disobeyed because he was incredulous. And, coming from Moses, God considered this a low blow, like the betrayal of a friend, because He honored him before everyone and was now being disgraced in front of His people. His name would not be sanctified, nor would he receive the deserved glory. Moses and Aaron rebelled against God and misused their positions as leaders. Deuteronomy 32.51
Doubt produces such a cheeky and insolent behavior that it causes a person to question the reliability of the Word of God, as if the Almighty is not able to fulfill what He has promised.
Sin rendered Moses what he wanted most: to finish his mission. He had the pleasure, or grief, of seeing the Promised Land from afar, but could not enter, though he insisted, a lot, with the Most High. For a leader like him, there could be nothing more painful.
Given what happened to Moses, we can consider a valuable lesson: the more we know God and His Word, the more fear and trembling we have, because He will handle our sins with fair and individual criteria, and no one will be immune to the consequences.