Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part XIX - Missing God's Blessing In Oversight By Glorifying One's Self
(Numbers 20:1-13)
  1. Introduction
    1. As husbands, parents, Bible teachers, Church leaders or business overseers, we all need God's richest supply of wisdom and strength to make adequate oversight decisions regarding our subordinates.
    2. One of God's requirements for oversight blessing is for us to avoid glorifying ourselves, and Moses learned this lesson in a very hard and costly way in Numbers 20:1-13 as follows:
  2. Missing God's Blessing In Oversight By Glorifying One's Self, Numbers 20:1-13.
    1. When the people of Israel who were in the wilderness wanderings arrived at the desert of Zin and camped at Kadesh, some events occurred that would have tempted Moses and Aaron to view themselves as a more intrinsically holy than the people, and thus tempting them to glorify themselves and not GOD:
      1. First, Moses' sister, Miriam passed away, calling attention to her failure versus Moses' uprightness in past events, Numbers 20:1.
        1. Miriam's death signaled she had been among those whom the Lord had judged to die in the wilderness for her unbelief in accord with Numbers 14:22-24.
        2. Though both Aaron and Miriam had suffered God's discipline for trying to rise up against Moses in Numbers 12:1-15, Miriam was the leader of this rebellion, so Moses in particular and perhaps Aaron to a lesser degree could have been tempted to feel a bit holier than their sister upon her death!
      2. Second, at Kadesh, the congregation arose against Moses and Aaron due to the area's lack of water, calling attention to the group's repeated unbelief over the same provision shortage, Numbers 20:2.
        1. When the people complained about a lack of water at Kadesh in Numbers 20:2, Moses and Aaron would have recalled other occasions when they complained about water, Ex. 15:22-24; 17:1-7.
        2. For these acts, the people were judged to die like Miriam, Ryrie St. Bib., KJV ftn. to Num. 14:22.
        3. Memory of this could have amplified Moses' and Aarons' tendencies to feel loftier than the people.
      3. In addition to the current crisis was the ADDED emphasis of the complaint that the people had wished they had also died with Korah and his followers, Numbers 20:3-5:
        1. When the people at Kadesh added to their complaint of a lack of water that they wished they had died in Korah's rebellion, Moses and Aaron would have recalled that event was a sin against God's choice of them to lead the nation, Numbers 20:3-4 with Numbers 16:1-17:13.
        2. Hence, this added complaint would have added to their temptation to get irritated at the sinfulness of the people against their having been selected by God to be the nation's rightful spiritual leaders.
      4. Also, the people further goaded Moses, declaring he had not kept the promise he gave that God would use him to lead them to a land flowing with milk and honey, Numbers 20:5 with Exodus 3:15-17.
    2. At first, Moses and Aaron appeared to respond well to this sin in taking the whole issue to God, 20:6.
    3. However, their heart attitudes were those of PRIDE through stooping to the faithless outlook of the people applied to their roles, and they sinfully glorified themselves rather than God, Numbers 20:7-11:
      1. God told Moses to take the rod which he had used to perform previous miracles along with his brother, Aaron and speak to the rock before the people for the rock to bring forth water, Numbers 20:7-8.
      2. Yet, Moses with Aaron bragged to the insubordinate people about THEIR having to provide water for them as rebels, thus taking glory to themselves for the miracle instead of honoring God, 20:9-11.
      3. Though God graciously gave much water at Moses' act, since Moses with Aaron glorified themselves and not God, God condemned them not to bring Israel into the Promised Land, Num. 20:12-13.
Lesson: Moses and Aaron fell for the temptation to view their LEADERSHIP roles as did the PEOPLE -- from a HUMAN view of a FALSE SELF-ENABLING and REWARDING instead of from GOD'S view of His GRACIOUS CALLING and GIFTING. Thus, they failed to glorify GOD to their LOSS!

Application: Believers in oversight must recall their POSITIONS do NOT spring from any personal MERIT or PROWESS, but are GRACIOUS GIFTS from GOD (as typified in God's use of Moses' rod, Num. 20:8 with Ex. 4:1-5; 7:20; 14:16) to be exercised to exalt GOD above SELF before subordinates!