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Sunday, December 8 2013

Numbers 20: Water From The Rock At Meribah

"This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the LORD, and he was sanctified in them"

The LORD God was and is Jesus Christ (see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God). The LORD delivered the Israelites at the first Passover (see Exodus 12: The First Passover).

"10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ." (1 Corinthians 10:1-4 KJV)

Miriam was substantially older (perhaps as much as 15 years) than her brothers Moses and Aaron (see also Numbers 12: The Jealousy Of Miriam and Aaron), so it was natural that she would be the first of them to die.


"20:1 Then came the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, into the desert of Zin in the first month: and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there." (Numbers 20:1 KJV)

The Israelites had whined and rebelled right from the first day of their liberation (see Numbers 11: Winners and Whiners and Numbers 14: Why 40 Years In The Sinai?). On yet another occasion, "they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron."

"20:2 And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. 20:3 And the people chode with Moses, and spake, saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the LORD! 20:4 And why have ye brought up the congregation of the LORD into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there? 20:5 And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink." (Numbers 20:2-5 KJV)

The LORD had supplied everything that the great multitude had needed, while at the same encouraging them to learn to make their own living. When they failed to find water for themselves, the LORD provided Moses with the means to demonstrate that water was abundantly available. Unfortunately for Moses and Aaron, they had lost patience with the rebels and provided water to the people without giving thanks to the LORD. It was a costly error for Moses and Aaron: "And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them."

"20:6 And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto them. 20:7 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 20:8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.

20:9 And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him. 20:10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? 20:11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.

20:12 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

20:13 This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the LORD, and he was sanctified in them." (Numbers 20:6-13 KJV)

The Israelites could have directly entered the Promised Land only fourteen months after the Exodus (see Numbers 13: The Exploration Of The Promised Land and Numbers 14: Why 40 Years In The Sinai?), immediately after they left Mount Sinai (see Exodus 19: Arrival At Mount Sinai and Numbers 2: Israel's Battle Formation). When they refused to enter the Promised Land, the LORD turned them around to wander in the wilderness of the Sinai for forty years, until the generation of rebels had died off. During that time, they faced the hostility of the nations of the Sinai and eastern Arabia (see Paul's Geography Lesson).


"20:14 And Moses sent messengers from Kadesh unto the king of Edom, Thus saith thy brother Israel, Thou knowest all the travail that hath befallen us: 20:15 How our fathers went down into Egypt, and we have dwelt in Egypt a long time; and the Egyptians vexed us, and our fathers: 20:16 And when we cried unto the LORD, he heard our voice, and sent an angel, and hath brought us forth out of Egypt: and, behold, we are in Kadesh, a city in the uttermost of thy border: 20:17 Let us pass, I pray thee, through thy country: we will not pass through the fields, or through the vineyards, neither will we drink of the water of the wells: we will go by the king's high way, we will not turn to the right hand nor to the left, until we have passed thy borders.

20:18 And Edom said unto him, Thou shalt not pass by me, lest I come out against thee with the sword. 20:19 And the children of Israel said unto him, We will go by the high way: and if I and my cattle drink of thy water, then I will pay for it: I will only, without doing any thing else, go through on my feet.

20:20 And he said, Thou shalt not go through. And Edom came out against him with much people, and with a strong hand. 20:21 Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his border: wherefore Israel turned away from him." (Numbers 20:14-21 KJV)

Aaron was the next to die. The High Priesthood was passed to his son Eleazar, just as the leadership of Israel would soon pass from Moses to Joshua (see the Fact Finder question below).

"20:22 And the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, journeyed from Kadesh, and came unto mount Hor. 20:23 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in mount Hor, by the coast of the land of Edom, saying, 20:24 Aaron shall be gathered unto his people: for he shall not enter into the land which I have given unto the children of Israel, because ye rebelled against my word at the water of Meribah. 20:25 Take Aaron and Eleazar his son, and bring them up unto mount Hor: 20:26 And strip Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son: and Aaron shall be gathered unto his people, and shall die there.

20:27 And Moses did as the LORD commanded: and they went up into mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation. 20:28 And Moses stripped Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son; and Aaron died there in the top of the mount: and Moses and Eleazar came down from the mount. 20:29 And when all the congregation saw that Aaron was dead, they mourned for Aaron thirty days, even all the house of Israel." (Numbers 20:22-29 KJV)

Fact Finder: Were Joshua and Eleazar successful in getting the Israelites into the Promised Land?
See From Moses And Aaron To Joshua and Eleazar

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This Day In History, December 8

395: China's Murong-Xianbei state Later Yan was defeated by its former vassal Northern Wei at the Battle of Canhe Slope.

757: In China, Du Fu returned to Chang'an as a member of Emperor Xuanzong's royal court, after having escaped the city during the An Lushan Rebellion.

1432: The first battle between the forces of Svitrigaila and Sigismund Kestutaitis was fought near tOszmiana, thereby beginning the Lithuanian Civil War.

1813: The first public performance of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony.

German Empire 1854: Pope Pius IX proclaimed the anti-Biblical heresy of the "immaculate conception" of Mary (see What Does The Bible Really Say About Mary?).

1869: The Vatican I Council began in Rome (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

1907: Gustaf V acceded to the Swedish throne.

1912: The German Empire (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation) held an Imperial War Council of its members to discuss the possibility that war might break out. It did two years later, in the First World War.

1914: During the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), the German cruisers Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Nurnberg, and Liepzig were sunk by Britain's Royal Navy at the Battle of the Falkland Islands.

1915: The poem In Flanders Fields first appeared in print, in Punch magazine. It was written by Canadian medical officer Lt. Col. John McCrae at Ypres, Belgium.

1940: During the Second World War, a heavy overnight raid by German bombers on London caused the first serious damage to the House of Commons and the Tower of London.

1941: The first large Nazi death camp, Chelmno, started functioning. There were to be 6 such death camps: Chelmno and Auschwitz in the Polish territories incorporated into Germany, and Treblinka, Sobibor, Majdanek and Belzec in the Polish "General Government" area. Besides these 6 "death camps", there were to be 1,634 "concentration" camps and their satellites, and over 900 "labor" camps. Of the over 8,860,000 Jews in countries of Europe directly or indirectly under German control, over 5,930,000 were murdered during the war (see Hate Jews? and Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1948: South Korea was recognized by the United Nations.

1965: The Vatican II Council officially closed after over 3 years.

1971: During the Indo-Pakistani War, the Indian Navy launched a major attack on West Pakistan's port city of Karachi.

1974: A plebiscite abolished the monarchy in Greece.

1978: Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir died in Jerusalem at age 80.

1980: Former Beatle John Lennon was shot to death at age 40 while entering his apartment building in New York City.

1991: Russia, Byelorussia and the Ukraine formed the Commonwealth of Independent States.

2004: The Cuzco Declaration was signed in Cuzco, Peru. It established the South American Community of Nations.



Copyright © Wayne Blank