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January 4, 2019

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
Christian Standard Bible for 2019

Text: Genesis 12-15
Audio: Genesis 12-15

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

Numbers 20 (ESV)

And the people of Israel, the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh. And Miriam died there and was buried there.

Now there was no water for the congregation. And they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. And the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Would that we had perished when our brothers perished before the Lord! Why have you brought the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness, that we should die here, both we and our cattle? And why have you made us come up out of Egypt to bring us to this evil place? It is no place for grain or figs or vines or pomegranates, and there is no water to drink.” Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the entrance of the tent of meeting and fell on their faces. And the glory of the Lord appeared to them, and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So you shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their cattle.”And Moses took the staff from before the Lord, as he commanded him.

10 Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?”11 And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock. 12 And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “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.” 13 These are the waters of Meribah,where the people of Israel quarreled with the Lord, and through them he showed himself holy.

14 Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom: “Thus says your brother Israel: You know all the hardship that we have met: 15 how our fathers went down to Egypt, and we lived in Egypt a long time. And the Egyptians dealt harshly with us and our fathers. 16 And when we cried to the Lord, he heard our voice and sent an angel and brought us out of Egypt. And here we are in Kadesh, a city on the edge of your territory. 17 Please let us pass through your land. We will not pass through field or vineyard, or drink water from a well. We will go along the King’s Highway. We will not turn aside to the right hand or to the left until we have passed through your territory.” 18 But Edom said to him, “You shall not pass through, lest I come out with the sword against you.” 19 And the people of Israel said to him, “We will go up by the highway, and if we drink of your water, I and my livestock, then I will pay for it. Let me only pass through on foot, nothing more.” 20 But he said, “You shall not pass through.” And Edom came out against them with a large army and with a strong force. 21 Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his territory, so Israel turned away from him.

22 And they journeyed from Kadesh, and the people of Israel, the whole congregation, came to Mount Hor. 23 And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron at Mount Hor, on the border of the land of Edom, 24 “Let Aaron be gathered to his people, for he shall not enter the land that I have given to the people of Israel, because you rebelled against my command at the waters of Meribah. 25 Take Aaron and Eleazar his son and bring them up to Mount Hor. 26 And strip Aaron of his garments and put them on Eleazar his son. And Aaron shall be gathered to his people and shall die there.” 27 Moses did as the Lord commanded. And they went up Mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation. 28 And Moses stripped Aaron of his garments and put them on Eleazar his son. And Aaron died there on the top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. 29 And when all the congregation saw that Aaron had perished, all the house of Israel wept for Aaron thirty days.

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Next: Numbers 21

Back: Numbers 19

This Post Has One Comment
  1. And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “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.” Numbers 20:12

    History Repeats Itself

    The saying "history repeats itself" if fitting for this chapter. The congregation once again find themselves in a life-threatening scenario (without water) and instead of trusting God to provide as He as done in the past, they again "assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron" (Numbers 20:2). 

    We again read they grumbled against Moses in verse 3 and wished they had died with their brothers instead of where they were. Perhaps instant death was better than dying of thirst?

    In a section titled, "Back to the Future", Iain Duguid writes in his commentary on Numbers, "The primary event recorded in Numbers 20, the miraculous provision of water from the rock, was a mirror image of a similar event that had taken place in the very first year of their wandering (Exodus 17). That previous event is one of several backdrops against which we need to see this passage. At that first occasion in the wilderness of Sin (a similar sounding, yet different location from that in 20:1), the people quarreled with Moses and put the Lord to the test because there was no water for them to drink (Exodus 17:2, 3). They charged Moses with bringing the people out of Egypt simply to make them die of thirst in the wilderness (v. 3). However, on that occasion the Lord instructed Moses to bring the people to the rock at Horeb and to strike the rock there; water would flow from the rock for the people to drink (Exodus 17:6). In that first test Moses did exactly what the Lord told him to do, and the needs of the people were graciously met (Exodus 17:6)."

    Duguid, I. M., & Hughes, R. K. (2006). Numbers: God’s presence in the wilderness (pp. 249–250). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

    As we face uncertainty (including life-threatening situations), it is in these moments our faith, trust and resolve in the Lord is tested the most. This is where we find out if we truly believe what we think we do.

    Do we really believe God?

    Do we really trust Him with our very lives?

    What is our Zin (Numbers 20:1)?

    What miracles and provisions await those of us who do not challenge God and grumble against Him?

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