They angered him at the waters of Meribah, and it went ill with Moses on their account; for they made his spirit bitter, and he spoke words that were rash. Psalm 106:32, 33, R.S.V.
Had Moses and Aaron been cherishing self-esteem or indulging a passionate spirit in the face of divine warning and reproof, their guilt would have been far greater. But they were not chargeable with willful or deliberate sin; they had been overcome by a sudden temptation, and their contrition was immediate and heartfelt. The Lord accepted their repentance, though because of the harm their sin might do among the people, He could not remit its punishment….
God had forgiven the people greater transgressions, but He could not deal with sin in the leaders as in those who were led. He had honored Moses above every other man upon the earth…. The fact that Moses had enjoyed so great light and knowledge made his sin more grievous. Past faithfulness will not atone for one wrong act. The greater the light and privileges granted to man, the greater is his responsibility, the more aggravated his failure, and the heavier his punishment.
Moses was not guilty of a great crime, as men would view the matter…. But if God dealt so severely with this sin in His most faithful and honored servant, He will not excuse it in others…. All who profess godliness are under the most sacred obligation to guard the spirit, and to exercise self-control under the greatest provocation. The burdens placed upon Moses were very great; few men will ever be so severely tried as he was; yet this was not allowed to excuse his sin. God has made ample provision for His people; and if they rely upon His strength, they will never become the sport of circumstances. The strongest temptation cannot excuse sin. However great the pressure brought to bear upon the soul, transgression is our own act. It is not in the power of earth or hell to compel anyone to do evil. Satan attacks us at our weak points, but we need not be overcome. However severe or unexpected the assault, God has provided help for us, and in His strength we may conquer.
Conflict and Courage p. 110
—–Please pray for Sherlyn who will be having surgery soon. \
—–Please pray for our family as we are facing various trials. L
When I was a little girl, my mother used to take me to the carnival. The fair grounds were at that time only about a mile from my grandparents’ house, so it was not far to walk. The carnival was a place of wonderment for me. Rides that I would never think of going on loomed overhead. Little kiddie rides that I enjoyed, “fishing” for a prize, watching my mother shoot a rife and getting to choose the prize, rough looking men hawking their wares, watching a man swallow a sword, and other wonders captivated my attention.
As we were walking along, my mother saw the House of Mirrors. Curious, she paid the entrance fee. When we got inside, there were mirrors of all types. When we stood in front of one, we looked very tall and skinny. Another one made us look very short and fat. Still another, made us look misshapen. I laughed and laughed. We entered a corridor of mirrors and soon we were lost in a maze. It was impossible to find our way out by sight. The mirrors were set up in such a way that we could see many reflections of ourselves, but not the way out. I felt panic-stricken! After a time of attempting to find the exit, my mother began to panic too. That scared me even more. Finally, she got the idea of feeling her way along the maze. That worked! Once on the outside, we determined never to enter a maze of mirrors again.
How often life is like that maze of mirrors. Without the our Great Redeemer’s guidance, we become lost in the tangle of trials and troubles of our own making. Without His special leading, we can get ourselves into circumstances where there seems to be no way out. The more we try to extricate ourselves from the situation, getting deeper we get in the trap.
There is only one way of escape. If we ask Him, Jesus will help us disentangle ourselves from the mess we have gotten ourselves into. All we need to do is ask. Our Dear Saviour promises, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” Psa 32:8 He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life! No matter what our circumstance, no matter how deeply we are ensnared in our own “house of mirrors, “if we cry unto the Lord in our trouble, He will save us out of all of our distresses, deliver us from self- destruction, teach us His way, and make a plain path for our feet. ( Psa 107:19,20, 27:11)
May we, this very day, while the door of mercy is still open, ask our Loving Saviour to take complete control of our life. May we declare as did David, “Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.” Psa 73:24 May we ever “follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth” is my prayer. Rev 14:4