Numbers 20:1–13; Romans 5:12–21; Matthew 20:29–34
It doesn’t seem fair, what God does to Moses. Moses gets a little angry, throws his staff around a bit, says a few harsh words, and God sentences him to die in the wilderness? Doesn’t seem fair, but it is right.
Moses is no longer a rookie. He’s got close to 40 years of leadership under his belt. He’s seen the Lord work wonders, parting the Red Sea. He’s seen the Lord provide, giving his people manna, and quail, and water from the rock. He’s seen the Lord see him through crises and rebellions from the golden calf, to Korah, to his own siblings Aaron and Miriam. What’s one more instance of grumbling to a leader like Moses? It proves to be too much. Moses lashes out and loses his self-control.
Jesus warns, “Everyone to whom much is given, of him will much be required” (Luke 12:48). God had given Moses much, and required that Moses follow him each step of the way. Most of the time, Moses did; but when he didn’t, God held him accountable. That’s fair, especially with a seasoned leader like him.
Prayer: Lord God, give us patience, and bear in us the fruit of self-control, through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by the Rev. Dr. Eric Waters, Assistant Pastor at Upper Arlington Lutheran Church, Columbus, OH.