Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. -Numbers 20:11 (NIV)
Water from a rock, enough to nourish an entire nation and its livestock?!? Awesome!
Out of context, this passage sounds great in every way. A miracle had occurred for the tired, hungry Israelites. Once again, they’d complained to Moses about their predicament: wandering the wilderness after escaping Egypt. Despite how God showed his power to free them from Pharaoh and his armies at the Red Sea–and all the plagues before it!–they still whined that they had better food and amenities under their slave drivers I’m Egypt!
So, once again, Moses asked God what to do. God told him to gather the congregation and then speak to the rock before them, and water would flow forth. But…Moses instead struck the rock twice prior to that water flowing.
But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.” -Numbers 20:12 (NIV)
That was the consequence of disobedience. And what a consequence, especially so close to the promised land! When God tells us what needs to be done, we do it.
Despite his disobedience, as well as that of the Israelites, God stayed true to His word. The Israelites did indeed conquer the promised land. And I can believe that Moses, despite facing the consequences of his disobedience, still thanked and praised God for all He had and continued to do in His unfailing love. For us today, we can do the same, even when we commit grievous blunders. His love runs deeper than our mistakes!