July 17, 2020

Listening to God’s Word

Numbers 20:1-13

“Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy . . . you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”

—  Numbers 20:12

One of the greatest threats in the wilderness is to run out of water. In the Desert of Zin there was no water for Israel to drink, and it seemed as if God was leaving them to die in the desert. But God came to the rescue.

This was not the first time God provided water in the desert. Earlier in Israel’s journey God had commanded Moses to strike a rock. Moses obeyed, and water gushed out (Exodus 17:1-7). But now God told Moses only to speak to the rock. But Moses, angry with the people’s complaints, hit the rock, and the Lord later said, “Because you did not honor me as holy, you will not bring Israel into the land.”

Obeying what God says can be difficult. It can be challenging to believe that God’s commands are for our good. But disobeying God leads to trouble. Our lives can’t flourish when we rebel against what God says.

God was gracious to give his people water in spite of Moses’ disobedience. And God is gracious to us in spite of our sin. Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 10:4 that Jesus was the spiritual rock that accompanied Israel and from which they drank in the wilderness. He took the blows for us so that we might have the living water that our souls need.

Jesus, thank you for taking the punishment for us and giving us your life-giving water. Help us always to obey you. Amen.

About the author — Tom Groelsema

Tom Groelsema and his wife, Sheri, have served churches in Minnesota, Michigan, and North Carolina. They have four children and three granddaughters.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!