Anger’s Bitter Fruit

Numbers 20:1-13

Now, wait a minute! Did we miss something? Where did Moses get the okay to deliver that scathing address? The truth is, he didn’t. Then where did it come from? From anger. Brimming with hostility and reacting in unbelief, he takes that rod and preaches an angry sermon to the people. His short fuse prompts him to take advantage of an opportunity to level these rebels with enraged verbiage.

I think there’s even a hint of blasphemy here. “Shall we bring water out of the rock?” he asks. But Moses, when did you ever bring water out of a rock? Isn’t God the one who summons water? True enough. But when you give in to rage, you sort of black out; you set aside your right mind and are driven by the unchecked emotions of anger. So the text states, Moses “lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod” (20:11, italics mine).

God had told him to speak to the rock; Moses struck it, not just once, but twice. And I frankly doubt whether he even cared if water came. He probably hoped it wouldn’t. He was so angry, he wanted their throats to stay dry. He wanted them to choke and writhe in their thirst. “Do you think we’ll give you water, you low-life scumbags? Hah!” So he belts the rock—Wham! Wham!—and much to his surprise, out flows fresh water. Scripture tells us that “water came forth abundantly, and the congregation and their beasts drank” (v. 11). Absolutely amazing! Amazing grace!

But that’s the way God’s grace works, isn’t it? Have you ever acted in rash unbelief, and yet God went ahead and opened up the door in spite of you? Talk about ultra humiliation. It happens when you’re out to lunch spiritually, when you’re walking in the flesh and you know it. You know when it began, and you know the depth and intensity of your carnality, but God graciously gives you what is best anyway. It’s remarkable, isn’t it, this thing called grace? It was grace that brought forth that clear stream of fresh water for the rebellious Israelites, as well as for ill-tempered Moses.

Taken from Great Days with the Great Lives by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson.

Posted in Bible Characters and tagged .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.

ఖచ్చితత్వం, స్పష్టత మరియు ఆచరణాత్మకత అన్నీ చార్లెస్ ఆర్. స్విన్డాల్ యొక్క బైబిల్-బోధనా పరిచర్యను వివరిస్తాయి. చక్ ఇన్సైట్ ఫర్ లివింగ్ కు బోర్డు ఛైర్మన్ మరియు డల్లాస్ థియోలాజికల్ సెమినరీకి ఛాన్సలర్. చక్ టెక్సాస్‌లోని ఫ్రిస్కోలోని స్టోన్‌బ్రయర్ కమ్యూనిటీ చర్చ్ యొక్క సీనియర్ పాస్టర్‌గా కూడా పనిచేస్తున్నారు, అక్కడ ఆయన చాలా ఇష్టపడేదాన్ని చేయగలుగుతున్నాడు-ఇష్టపడే హృదయాలకు బైబిల్ నేర్పిస్తున్నారు. ఆచరణాత్మక బైబిల్ అనువర్తనంపై ఆయన దృష్టి 1979 నుండి ఇన్సైట్ ఫర్ లివింగ్ రేడియో ప్రసారంలో వినబడుచున్నది.