Thursday: 8th August, 2019

Reference text: Numbers 20:1-13

Numbers 20:12 But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”

When you are frustrated, you can easily do things you are not meant to. Israel had pushed Moses and Aaron to the edge of a cliff and their desperation was so intense that as a version of scripture I read put it they ‘fled’ from the assembly, went straight into the presence of the Lord and fell face down (v 6). For Moses, a man who could negotiate with God to spare the entire nation, to walk away without a single attempt to talk down the people meant something was clearly not right.

Yet, while Moses’ blunder, born out of frustration cost him and Aaron the chance to lead Israel into the promised land; it was God’s diplomatic way of handling the issue that gets my attention. Moses disobeyed Him openly and did what He was not told to. Nonetheless, God made sure that water still came from the rock he struck even though He was meant to speak to it. For this, he was reprimanded, but not in the midst of the whole assembly people.

Sometimes, we are tempted to believe that words of rebuke have the biggest impact when spoken in the presence of others, but God gives a different blueprint. He could have undermined Moses there and then, even gone further for all to see that He had been disobeyed, but He chose not to.


correction, reprimand and rebuke are part of life but their execution often determines if they will have a positive impact or an even worse outcome.

Leaders and especially parents, may feel they have every right to correct a subordinate or their child in the presence of other people with the excuse that ‘they learn from it and the others also pick something up’. That is not the way to go, so don’t rush into reprimanding and rebuking in public because

some things are best said only to the ears that need to hear them.


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