Follow The Instructions

John Tilton


Numbers 20:1-12

In the first month the whole Israelite community arrived at the Desert of Zin, and they stayed at Kadesh. There Miriam died and was buried. Now there was no water for the community, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron. They quarreled with Moses and said, “If only we had died when our brothers fell dead before the Lord! Why did you bring the Lord’s community into this wilderness, that we and our livestock should die here? Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!” Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the tent of meeting and fell facedown, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. The Lord said to Moses, “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.” So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence, just as he commanded him. He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. 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.”


When the Israelites arrived in Kadesh and realized that there did not seem to be any water, the people rebelled. Their rebellion caused Moses and Aaron to seek the Lord. The Lord was very responsive and faithful with clear instructions for Moses to speak to the rock before the Israelites and it would pour forth water. However, it seems that the ire of the people caused Moses to have a temper that resulted in Moses not following God’s instructions of speaking to the rock, but rather striking the rock. Yet God was faithful in providing water to the rock. However, God would then punish Moses for his disobedience by not allowing him to lead the people into the promise land. For in not following God’s instructions, Moses showed dishonor to God, as if he doubted God’s instructions.


This reminds me of my tendency when assembling things of my propensity of not following instructions, but rather trying to assemble the project on my own thinking I can figure things out and assemble the project faster. I usually realize that I will miss an important step, result in a part or piece being left over and not knowing where it should go. Instructions, especially God’s instructions are meant to give us a clear path of obedience the help and guide us. However, when we allow ourselves to do things on our own without following God’s will and way, we often get in trouble or find ourselves in a pickle. Or I often find myself to be influenced by others, resulting in my response to “hit a rock” needlessly, when God is not telling me to do so, or the response not needing to be so intense. God give us very clear instructions in His Word on how to go live life and apply ourselves to situations when calling upon Him. May we follow His instructions.


Dear Lord, please guide me in situation where emotion, stress and influence by others may cause me to respond different from what you would want. May I turn to you and follow in obedience.

Devotions for February 26

Numbers 19,20
Psalms 28
Mark 5

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