May 9, Reading 1 – Numbers 20


Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Moses did not hallow God’s Name! (Verse 12) He got so angry with Israel – you rebels! Moses’ righteousness falls short in bridging the chasm of sin. He can not enter the Promised Land – until Jesus and the Mount of Transfiguration!

SJA Notes

In a way this chapter tells stories from the lowest of low points in Israel’s history.

There is the antagonism, the clashing, the fighting with God and His chosen leaders – The people continue to battle with Moses and Aaron.

There is death.

Miriam, who watched over her little brother Moses in the reeds. Miriam, who fought with Moses too and was struck with leprosy then healed. She goes the way of all creation and dies.

And Aaron. The first high priest who was not really the first (which points us to Jesus, our Great High Priest). Aaron was not to enter the promised land because he and Moses sinned, as we read here, at Meribah. God called him home.

Note that important things happen on mountains. The law was given by God at the top of Mount Sinai (Exodus 19). Aaron died on the top of Mount Hor (v28). Moses died in the mountains (Deuteronomy 34). Jesus went to the mountain to pray, and the transfiguration happened on a mountain.

And on a hill, a little mountain, far away, our Lord was crucified.

In this reading we come upon a very black mark for Moses. Moses, the meekest man on all the earth (Numbers 12). He is known for submission under God’s will – And here he rejects God’s will! He goes his own way.

And it is anger that Moses gives reign to and strikes the rock.

Surely he was righteous in his anger at Israel?

God says in v12,

“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.”

Moses’ entry into the promised land with the rest of the people is revoked! This is a servant of God who has given his life to the people of God, leading them out of Egypt.

How wonderful it is then that we see in Jesus (in Jesus!), as He meets with Moses and Elijah in the transfiguration on the mountain – That He (our saviour, our king) welcomed Moses into the promised land!

Through Jesus – We are saved into God’s kingdom.

Hallelujah, what a Saviour!

* Lord God Above,

Thank You for Jesus, who saves us into Your kingdom.

Thank You for Your word here today. Please write it on our hearts.

Please help us to remember You, how You worked in Israel’s life as they walked through the wilderness and toward the promised land.

Please help us see Jesus today.


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