Today the people complain AGAIN bc there is no water. God tells Moses and Aaron to take the rod, gather the congregation and “speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water”. Moses and Aaron take the rod and gather the congregation but Moses, totally fed up, ends up going off on them out of anger and hits the rock 2 times w the rod. 😬 This is not good. The Lord says, “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them”. So Moses disobeyed God by hitting the rock instead of speaking to the rock and then he gave credit for the water to himself and Aaron when he said, “Must we bring water for you out of this rock?” Well, as a punishment, neither of them will enter the promised land. We see that come true for Aaron as he dies in today’s reading.
Afterwards, the Israelites encounter problems when Edom (descendants of Esau, Jacob’s brother) refuse to let them cross through their land. Then they battle more Canaanites and the people grow weary and complain AGAIN about leaving Egypt and having no food or water. This time God sends serpents to kill them. Moses intercedes for the people and the Lord instructs Moses to make a serpent and put it on a pole. He says that anyone who looks at that serpent will live. One day our savior will be lifted up on a pole to shed His blood for our sins. Anyone who looks upon Christ in faith will be saved by grace. “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor 15:56-57)
The reading ends today with the Lord giving the Israelites a great victory over their enemies Sihon and Og. This was such a huge defeat that later in the Story a Canaanite harlot will say, “I know that the Lord has given you the land…For we have heard…what you did to the two kings of the Amorites…, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And as soon as we heard these things our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God.”(Joshua 2: 9-11). We will get to that story soon but next up is a talking donkey so keep reading.