Numbers 27:1–23, 1 Corinthians 10:1–22, Psalm 22:14–31
Just before the children of Israel were to enter the land God promised them, Moses was told he would not enter the land because he “rebelled against” God’s word. This was when God told him to speak to the rock and instead he hit the rock because he was angry with the people.
Rebellion is a strong word. If a little child doesn’t do as he is told, would the parents call it rebellion? God is strict. In His mind, disobedience is rebellion .
Disobedience/rebellion is in every human heart. Moses was not the only one who suffered because of it. Paul told the following story as a lesson, but also to make NT Christians aware that we are no different than those rebels in the wilderness. Whether it is one sin that changes our lives like Moses’ rebellion, or the many sins of the entire congregation, all of us put the grace of God to the test.
For this, Paul instructed the church at Corinth, and instructs me also: “For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, ‘The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.’ We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:1–12)
Whether one sin or many, Jesus died for them all – this is the seriousness of sin and this is the love of God. He knew before the foundation of the world that we would need a Savior. He knew when David was king that the Savior would die a horrible death, suffering for his sin and mine. David wrote this psalm, but surely it describes the Christ as He gave His life for Moses’ sin, for the sin of His wandering people, for the sin of David, for my sin, and the sin of the rest of the humanity . . .
“I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death. For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet— I can count all my bones— they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.” (Psalm 22:14–18)
I heard the story and felt the agony yesterday at church, reminding me that the Lord Jesus was broken for me. His bones were pulled out of joint, His heart was like wax. He was helpless. He suffered the most horrid pain of dehydration, besides extreme physical and emotional distress. On top of it all, He was crushed under the weight of shame, of the guilt of all humanity, the burden of all our sin. And as He died for them as well, the soldiers mindlessly rolled dice for His clothes.