Tuesday, July 12: Numbers 20- The story behind the story.

As I was reading today, it occurred to me that the author gives us only the barest of information. Chronicling the amount of history that Moses did, we couldn't expect otherwise. But still we read only snippets of what went on.

I wondered, for example, how a scriptwriter or a novelist might fill in the account we read about in verses 2-5: 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!”

I tried to imagine the story behind the story, pondering these questions:

·         How did the people gather in opposition to Moses? Were there late night gatherings speaking against Moses? Did the leaders of clans confront him? Were there crowds of people chanting and yelling at him? Was the opposition ruly or unruly? Was it one large demonstration or a series of demonstrations? Was it a day, a week?

·         And as for the quarreling, we hear only the briefest of conversation.  What was it like? Was there shouting, yelling and screaming? How did Moses reply? Did he yell? Were there violent threats? Did Moses fear for his life? Did the people bring clubs?

And so my musings went, trying to get into the story.

However the full account played out, there was more to it than a couple of sentences can convey. Very likely Moses’ heart was still beating fast as he stood before the rock. Adrenalin may have been flowing; latent anger against the people may have been brewing. After all, the text says they came after Moses and they certainly seem angry.

Trying to catch the back story, I feel for Moses and I understand how in a moment he and Aaron could have cried out, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” (20)

I am not condoning Moses’ sin, just understanding it.

Those same kind of self-preservation instincts rage in me and when I feel threatened I, too, lash out. I can justify it with my mind, but yet Jesus’ Words about turning the other cheek (Matthew 5:39) should apply.

I am human and I have weaknesses. Moses was human and he had weaknesses.  In our weakness even the best of us sin and this is why we need a savior. Because we cannot live perfectly righteous on our own. We simply cannot, sin is mixed into our DNA.

Identifying with Moses, I am so thankful I live under the New Covenant covered by the blood of Jesus through faith in Jesus…

O, O praise Him. O, O praise Him. Halleluiah. Halleluiah. Halleluiah!

Yes, Jesus, I will praise You with every fiber and every breath because You are my Lord and God and Redeemer. Amen.


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