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The Waters of Meribah


Sermon shared by James May

March 2004
Summary: Moses and Aaron missed out on Godís best because of the waters at Meribah. Will doubt, frustration, and fear cause us to miss out on Godís best at our Meribah?
Denomination: Pentecostal
Audience: Believer adults
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God for every bad thing that happens to them. They destroy their own marriage and then blame God when the spouse walks out the door. They donít teach their children the ways of the Lord and then when that child grows up and gets rebellious they want to blame God. We spend way beyond our means to pay the bill and then when we are pushed to the brink of bankruptcy and beyond we want to get mad at God because he didnít meet our needs.

Numbers 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."

Moses and Aaron had been surrounded by an angry mob. It kind of reminds me of the lynch mobs of the old west. Moses and Aaron ran from them in fear for their lives. They were afraid of being stoned.

They ran to the tabernacle and fell upon their face, crying out to God to forgive Israel for their sin. They remembered the judgments of God and they didnít want a repeat.

Where do we run to when the storms of life come our way or we feel as though someone is attacking us without just cause?

We run to the Lord and say, why me? What have I done to deserve this? If that had been some of us who were under attack and threatened like Moses and Aaron we would have run to the Lord all right, but I wonder if our prayer would have been, ďkill them all God, they are attacking your anointed and doing your prophets harm. Send an angel to destroy my enemies like you did the Philistine army.Ē I havenít seen many people fall on their face before God and ask God to have mercy on those who were persecuting them.

Numbers 20:7-8, "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 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."

God is so loving and merciful. Even though he had already had to allow an entire generation to die because of unbelief before he could fulfill his covenant; and even though this new generation wasnít any better, God still heard the prayer of Moses and Aaron and stayed the hand of judgment. Instead God chose to perform another miracle of deliverance on their behalf. What a might, loving and merciful God we serve!

God told Moses to take his rod, that same rod that had been instrumental in crossing the Red Sea and had been used in miracles all along Israelís journey; that rod that was a symbol of Godís anointing and power, and speak to the rock and then the rock would give forth its water.

Now we see a whole new test arising. Not only was Israel being tested in its faith in God, but now Moses and Aaron were being tested as well. They were accustomed to using the rod of Moses but it had always been used to strike something, not just to show as a symbol of Godís anointing.

At Rephidim God had told Moses to smite the rock and when Moses hit the rock with his rod, water came out. I suspect that Moses and Aaron expected God to move the same way and they just went about business as usual, forgetting what God had said.

This time they were not to hit the rock, they were to speak to it instead. This was to show that it was not the rod, and not the
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