Today, while reading Joshua 13-14, where God instructed Joshua to divide the promised land to the remaining tribes that had not yet obtained their inheritance, I was struck again with the thought of how Moses never saw the promised land.
Why? In Numbers 20:1-12, when the children of Israel were complaining about not having water to drink, God told Moses to take his rod, and speak unto the rock before the congregation and it shall bring forth his water. In verses 10-11, “And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly…” Verse 12, “And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.”
He was given a simple and clear command. Yet, he didn’t obey the Lord. I Samuel 15:22 says, “And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”
Obeying is better than sacrifice! But yet, there are so many things in the Bible that people just can’t seem to grasp… God just wants obedience! Do we really have to have a reason for everything that is in His word? Is His word not enough?
Acts 5:29, Peter answers the high priest, saying, “We ought to obey God rather than man.“ One thing I find interesting is that some say that the words of Jesus are the words that they follow. Great. Good. But… aren’t all the words of Jesus written by men inspired by God. Wouldn’t the words written in the Epistles be just as much from God as the red letter words written in the Gospels and Acts 1? They both being written by man, but inspired of God. Why do we have any other words than those of Christ if they aren’t as important?
The problem with us today, is that we have been taught that everything is okay… or that there really isn’t right or wrong… it is only opinion. My Bible tells me different. And the wild thing is.. His commandments are so easy to live by, His leading and directing is so true and RIGHT… but we have our own opinion. We have our own understanding. Surely, the brains God gave us are to make decisions as to what His word says.
So, let’s think about that. Are our children born with the brains to just make decisions? Or, do they need leading and directing… sometimes correction? God uses our lives… things that we live daily… to help us understand the relationship He wants with us. Weren’t we taught to obey our parents? Doesn’t the Bible tell us in Colossians 3:20, “Children obey your parents in all things: for this is wellpleasing to the Lord.” As well, Colossians 3:18-23 in full… tell wives to submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord, husbands love your wives, and be not bitter against them, father’s provoke not your children to anger lest they be discouraged, servants obey in all things your masters according to the flesh… not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.
And it goes even further… verse 25, “But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.”
These are only a few of the scriptures directing us to do or live something. The Bible is full of scriptures directing and leading us on what to do for salvation and how to live a life right before God. I’m not perfect. I daily ask for forgiveness for my sin. But I am striving to be obedient in all I do.
Lord, if You say it, help me to be willing to do it with the right spirit and in obedience to what You ask of me. I know that what You ask isn’t necessarily what I understand. But I have faith in You and know that You have created me and You know what is best for me. Help me to be willing and not continually question. Help me to take Your word for what it is, and not try to change it for my own comfort or agenda. Amen.
This article was written by my wife and ministry partner, Angela Jones, and posted to her blog at Angela’s Thoughts.