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“Respond to Difficult Situations”. November 19 th & 20 th. O utline of the Passages. Don’t Idolize the Past (Num. 20:1-5) Don’t Lose Your Temper (Num. 20:6-11; Ps. 106:32-33) Don’t Fail to Trust the Lord (Num. 20:12-13).

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o utline of the passages
Outline of the Passages
  • Don’t Idolize the Past

(Num. 20:1-5)

  • Don’t Lose Your Temper

(Num. 20:6-11; Ps. 106:32-33)

  • Don’t Fail to Trust the Lord

(Num. 20:12-13)

Because of Moses’ poor response to Israel’s complaint of no water, he disobeyed God and lost out on entering the Promise Land.

How do we respond to difficult situations? Will we do things God’s way or our way?

don t idolize the past
Don’t Idolize the Past

Numbers 20:1-51 In the first month the whole Israelite community arrived at the Desert of Zin, and they stayed at Kadesh. There Miriam died and was buried. 2 Now there was no water for the community, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron. 3 They quarreled with Moses and said, "If only we had died…


…when our brothers fell dead before the LORD! 4 Why did you bring the LORD\'s community into this desert, that we and our livestock should die here? 5 Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!"

don t idolize the past1
Don’t Idolize the Past
  • Setting the scene:
    • The Israelites had come to the beginning of their 40th year in the wilderness. They were almost to the Promised Land.
    • They had come to the southern boundary of the Promised Land – to Kadesh
don t idolize the past2
Don’t Idolize the Past
  • The Israelites had been here before. 40 years ago, Moses struck the rock and out came water for the people. They did not learn from their past experience.
  • The people quarreled with Moses and Aaron meaning they fought with or contended with them.

Essentially the people were saying they longed for the “good old days” in Egypt.

    • The Israelites argued death was better than life.
    • They accuse Moses, “Why have YOU brought the Lord’s assembly into this wilderness…?” Wasn’t God who had been leading them?

They believe the past slavery in Egypt was better the future promises of God. Kadesh was only a temporary stop on the way to a land flowing with “milk and honey.”

spiritual insight 1
Spiritual Insight #1

Scripture encourages us to learn

from the past.

Romans 15:4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

1 Corinthians 10:11These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.

spiritual insight 2
Spiritual Insight #2

Scripture encourages us to view troubles in life as only temporary.

2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

Romans 8:18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.


How do you remember God


What helps you to remember the faithfulness of God in your past, so that you can trust Him more fully in future crisis?

Keeping a prayer journal;

Religious Holidays;

Studying the Bible to see how God helped others;

Sharing how God has blessed you;

Listening to others’ testimonies;

Lord’s Supper reminds us how Jesus loved;

Focusing on God’s character;

Spiritual Exercise

Box on Page 2

don t lose your temper
Don’t Lose Your Temper

Numbers 20:6-116 Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and fell facedown, and the glory of the LORD appeared to them. 7 The LORD said to Moses, 8 "Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together.


Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink." 9 So Moses took the staff from the LORD\'s presence, just as he commanded him.


10 He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, "Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?" 11 Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.


Psalm 106:32-33 32 By the waters of Meribah they angered the LORD, and trouble came to Moses because of them; 33 for they rebelled against the Spirit of God, and rash words came from Moses\' lips.

don t lose your temper1
Don’t Lose Your Temper
  • God gave Moses specific instructions on how to handle this problem:
    • Take your staff to the rock;
    • Speak to the Rock;
    • Water will come out of the rock.

Seems Simple Enough


Instead, Moses lost his temper;

    • Took his staff as directed by God;
    • But Moses spoke to the people, not the rock; and then hit the rock twice with his staff.
    • Water came out of the rock.
  • We can all feel for Moses’ anger and frustration with these rebellious people.
    • But in disobeying God’s specific command, Moses had also become a rebel just like the people.

Does this mean we can never get angry or that we have to hold in our anger at all cost? NO!

  • Psalm 106 tells us that Moses’ anger and wrath overcame him. The sinful stubbornness of the people embittered his spirit.
  • Moses lost his self-control and patience, and his anger led him to act contrary to God’s command.

Dealing with anger is never easy, but appropriate ways to express anger do exist.

  • We fail to trust God when we lose our tempers and take matters into our own hands.
  • God has the perfect solution for every one of our needs.

Do you believe that?


How do you Handle Your Anger?

Moses’ anger got the best of him at Kadesh. Check any item below that tempts you to lose your temper:

___ When I’m disrespected; ___ Traffic!

___ Injustice against others;

___ My child’s disobedience;

___ Bad Service ___ Being unappreciated;

Next time one of those situations arises, reply on God’s help to give patience, gentleness and self-control.

Spiritual Exercise

Box on Page 3

don t fail to trust the lord
Don’t Fail to Trust the Lord

Numbers 20:12-13 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." 13 These were the waters of Meribah, where the Israelites quarreled with the LORD and where he showed himself holy among them.

don t fail to trust the lord1
Don’t Fail to Trust the Lord
  • Moses and Aaron did not trust God.
    • By their lack of belief in God’s faithfulness, Moses and Aaron failed to show God’s holiness.
    • Literally they failed to “consecrate” God at the rock in the presence of the people.
    • Their failure to follow God’s specific commands did not allow the Israelites to see God’s caring and benevolent character.

So, why did Moses and Aaron fail to trust God?

    • In calling the Israelites “rebels” and saying, “Must we bring water out of this rock,” Moses put himself in the role of God to judge Israel and declare them guilty.
    • In the past, Moses had pleaded with God to pardon Israel.
    • Now he appeared to act as judge and jury.

Believers can also fall into this trap. We can mistakenly become angry with the sinner instead of the sin. When we condemn sinners, we forget that Jesus died on the cross for their sins too.

  • The sentence for disobeying God: Moses and Aaron would not be allowed to bring the new generation into the Promised Land.

Moses would be allowed to see the land from the peak of Mount Nebo on the northeastern side of Canaan.

  • Both Moses and Aaron died before the Israelites crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land.

From Mt. Nebo looking south to the Dead Sea.

75 Miles Away


Can you complete this quote?

  • God told Moses to __________ the rock (verse 8). Instead, Moses spoke to the _____________ (verse 10) and ___________ the rock (verse 11). As a result, Moses did not honor God as _____________ (verse 12).


Spiritual Exercise

Box on Page 3