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Friday, April 03, 2009

It must have been their attitude

There are lots of interesting stories in the Book of Numbers.

In at least two of them, God shows his displeasure with a Bible character for doing what God has either commanded, or specifically allowed them to do.

In Numbers 20, Moses struck a rock with his rod, at God's command. Water came out, and the Israelites needed it. But God was not pleased with Moses. Apparently, Moses was too concerned about himself in this instance, and not about the God who made this miracle possible. As a result, Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land.

In Numbers 22, Balaam, a non-Israeli prophet, who apparently worshiped God, was asked to curse the Israelites. He didn't, but Balak, who wanted very much to destroy them, asked him to try again, from a different location. God told Balaam, in a dream, that he could go. But on the way, God's angel stopped the prophet. Balaam was told to continue, but to be sure to say only what God told him to. Why did God stop Balaam? We can't be sure, but it seems most likely that Balaam was going with the wrong attitude, probably having decided to take Balak's treasure, and say what Balak wanted him to.

Not only obeying, but having the right attitude, is important.

I hope I obey, with the right attitude. Thanks for reading.

2 comments:

Tap said...

In the Numbers 20 case, God actually commanded Moses to speak to the rock, not strike it, as he had in a previous miracle (Exodus 17). Instead he disobeyed and struck it. That's my understanding, anyway.

Martin LaBar said...

You are probably right, Tap.

That's one of the many things I don't understand about the Bible.

Anyway, my main point stands, I think.

Thanks.