Categories: HomiliesPublished On: August 5th, 2021Tags: , 431 words13.1 min read
Order the rock to yield its water

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Order the rock to yield its water

Numbers gives us a confusing passage today. There has been a lot of thought poured into this passage trying to understand it. God tells Moses to take his staff, stand in front of the rock, and order the rock to yield its water. A rock giving water, that is most certainly a miracle. Next Moses takes his staff and strikes the rock not once but twice and water gushes forth. But God is not pleased with Moses. For not following God’s instructions Moses will not be allowed into the promised land. Wait! What just happened? Did not Moses follow God’s instructions? This is where the debate begins. It appears that Moses did follow God’s instructions. The people were crying out for water and God delivered them. Why the punishment for Moses?

Rabbis and church leaders have debated this for centuries. Here are a couple of thoughts to consider. First, Moses struck the rock. Did God tell Moses to strike the rock? Look back at the reading. What God says to Moses is to stand in front of the rock and order the rock to yield its water.

There is no mention of striking the rock. Yes, Moses is to hold his staff, but nothing said about striking the rock. Just as the Red Sea was parted by Moses holding his staff it is thought he could have ordered the rock to give water while holding the staff. Striking the rock disobeyed God’s command. A second thought, Moses struck the rock twice. With the first blow a slow trickle of water came forth from the rock. In anger Moses struck the rock again and now it gushed forth. Was Moses striking the rock out of anger? Or was he consumed with frustration from the people always complaining and wanting more. Perhaps he was tiring of being the leader of these stubborn people and he took his frustration out on the rock.

God asks each of us to follow Him. To obey His commands. To act justly and forgive with mercy. To love God with our hearts, our minds, and our souls. Moses was acting as any human would. We need to recognize our shortcomings. In turn, God continues to shower us with grace that we may live this life as He so commands.

May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen