Jordan Ministries
Embracing God's Promise of Abundance When Hardship Endures
Methods Matter
by Jenny on February 17th, 2015

"This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success." Joshua 1:8

Though I love to meditate on God's Word, several stories from Scripture leave me stumped. Take, for example, the story of Moses failing to enter the Promised Land. Moses faithfully led God's people out of Egypt and through the wilderness for 40 years. Yet at the end of his life God told Moses that he would never step foot in the long-awaited Promised Land. Poor guy! Moses endured 40 years of whining and complaining from God's people. Why didn't God allow Moses the privilege of leading God's people all the way to the finish line? One glance back at Numbers 20 reveals to us God's very specific reason.

Sometime amidst the Israelites' wilderness wanderings, the whole community arrives in the wilderness of Zin. Upon setting up camp at Kadesh, God's people fail to find a clean source of water. It's not the first time God's people failed to find a water source (it's the desert, for cryin' out loud) but still the people whine and complain to Moses. Moses turns to God for help.

God instructs Moses, “You and Aaron must take the staff and assemble the entire community. As the people watch, speak to the rock over there, and it will pour out its water. You will provide enough water from the rock to satisfy the whole community and their livestock.” (Numbers 20:8)

Numbers 20:9 tells us, "Moses did as he was told . . ." But did he?

Numbers 20:10-11 read, "'Listen, you rebels!' [Moses] shouted. 'Must we bring you water from this rock?' Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with the staff, and water gushed out. So the entire community and their livestock drank their fill."

I can only imagine Moses' frustration with God's people. God had provided everything His people needed since delivering them from Egyptian slavery. But rather than softening their hearts toward God, God's people continued to rebel against God and question and accuse God of forsaking them. But this time, Moses' temper gets the best of him.

The Lord says to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not trust Me enough to demonstrate My holiness to the people of Israel, you will not lead them into the land I am giving them!" (Numbers 20:12)

Though I feel sorry for Moses, my job is not to question God's authority but to seek wisdom and understanding through His Word. The story of Moses failing to enter the Promised Land teaches me that methods matter.

Throughout the Old Testament (and the New Testament too, for that matter) God calls His people to do things contrary to how the world would do them.

Rather than striking the rock for water, as God had instructed Moses to do to a rock at Mount Sinai, this time God told Moses to speak to the rock.

Rather than attacking a city in his own strength, the mighty warrior Joshua had to play marching band around the city of Jericho for seven days straight (see Joshua 6).

Rather than attacking the Midianites with a 30,000-man strong army, Gideon had to reduce his battalion by 90%, and then advance against his enemy with the tooting of a ram's horn and the breaking of clay pots (see Judges 7).

God calls us as followers of Christ to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44), to turn our cheek when insulted (Matthew 5:39), to forgive when wronged (Matthew 18:22).

Why does God call us to live contrary to how the world tells us to live?

Because then God's holiness gets demonstrated to a watching world.

The story of Moses failing to enter the Promised Land may seem unfair to my worldly heart and eyes. But this story teaches me that methods matter. I must do every part of life just as God says in His Word. And if I follow God's ways, God promises that I will prosper and find success in all He leads me to do.

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Crossing Your Jordan

I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling, Bible-teaching mom of six, and wife to my college sweetheart. I believe everyone can live a life of abundance through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and radical obedience to His Word.

Do you have a relationship with God through Christ? If not, I would consider it pure joy to tell you about God, why you need Him, and how to be reconciled to Him through Christ.

If you know Christ as your Savior, do you know how to follow Him as Lord? If, like me, life's challenges have caused you to question whether you truly want to follow God's plan for you, or you simply don't know how to recognize God's ways due to a lack of biblical literacy, I would love to teach you what I've come to know about God through His Word.

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