“Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So you shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their cattle.” And Moses took the staff from before the LORD, as he commanded him. Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock. And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.”
Numbers 20:8–12, ESV
It is dangerous to add to or take away from the Word of our God. As is often the case while the people of Israel are wandering in the wilderness, we find the people of Israel rebelling against God. How quickly are the blessings of God forgotten? Water is one of the most often utilized blessings that God gives to the people because water is life. This is not the first time the people cried out for water, and Moses had struck a rock in the past, but God wanted things done differently this time. This time the water was merely to come with a Word. Our salvation comes with a word. In his frustration, Moses’ sin was that he added his own action to the Word that God had given. Moses took the Word of God and inserted himself into the action of giving the saving waters of Meribah to the people and not showing the fullness of God’s lifesaving power that is given with a Word. The Word of God is lifesaving and life-giving in and of itself. We don’t have to add and should not take away from it. Water is necessary for life, but God did not have to have the water come from a rock. He could have simply led the people to a place full of fresh water. When Moses struck the rock, Moses added himself to the salvation promise. Lord, keep us from adding ourselves into being necessary actors in the fulfillment of your promises, and let us place our trust firmly in Your Word.
Let us pray. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that in all I do today, I may please you. For into your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel watch over me, that the wicked foe have no power over me. Amen.