When we talk about the superheroes of trust, surely Moses was a man who trusted God. He had seen so much of the power of God. He must have trusted God infinitely as a result of his experiences with God. Moses was the man whom God miraculously called from the bush that burned but was not consumed. Moses had seen his hand become leprous and then healed. He had thrown down his staff and seen it turn into a snake by the power of God, and then when he picked it up, it was his staff again. Moses had seen the parting of the Red Sea. Moses spoke to God directly and saw the works of God’s miracles first hand. He understood how nothing could stand against God. If ever there was a man who trusted God, it was Moses…right? Well…umm….hmm.
Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and fell facedown, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. 7 The Lord said to Moses, 8 “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.”
9 So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence, just as he commanded him. 10 He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” 11 Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.
12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”
If anyone knew the power of God, it was Moses. Surely he trusted The Lord with all of his heart, surely! Moses had seen God face to face. He had seen the power of God displayed ominously against those who did not honor Him. He saw how God took Pharaoh and his entire army and drowned them in the sea because Pharaoh refused to obey. Moses had seen the glory of God and he had seen the wrath of God. But then what? How does Moses’ trust in the Lord stand when confronted with a bunch of ungrateful, unruly people? Moses, the superhero of faith, shocks my socks off! He actually does not honor God. Whoa! What?!? Are you serious?!? How could a man who has seen the power of God first hand over and over and over again dishonor God?
It seems inconceivable. God specifically tells him to speak to the rock. God never told him to chew the people out. God said to bring them together and He would bring forth water out of the rock. God was attempting to reveal Himself to Israel as a kind and compassionate God to contrast Himself from the Egyptian gods they had been surrounded by for four hundred years. He was trying to introduce Himself to His people who had forgotten Him. But Moses did not like this idea. Moses becomes angry and lights into them like Bobby Knight in the 4th quarter of the NCAA finals. And then, he has the audacity to take credit for the miracle. Moses said, “Must we bring you water out of this rock?” Wait just a dog-gone minute. God is trying to reveal how much He loves His people. Yes, they are griping and complaining, but isn’t that when we see love the most-in response to offensive behavior? If only Moses had responded in the grade of God. But Moses screams at them in anger. And then he takes credit for a miracle. He acts like he brought water out of the rock. He was supposed to speak to the rock. But instead, he hits the rock with his staff. And The Lord says something to Moses that must have run through his mind over and over again for a very long time after this. God says to Moses, “Because you did not trust me enough…”
There is so much power in trust. Trust opens the floodgates and causes God to act on our behalf and makes our paths straight, but what happens when we don’t trust The Lord enough? Enough is the key word there. Let’s not completely bash Moses into the ground. He did trust God. He trusted God enough to lead these people out of Egypt and through the Red Sea. Even in this scene, He has enough trust in God that water will come out of the rock even in his disobedience. (I think God was calling him out on it though by making him hit the rock twice because nothing happened after the first hit. I have always wondered what his face looked like after he hit it once and nothing happened, but that’s just me.) He even has enough faith that sufficient water for the entire nation of people along with their animals and livestock would come forth. We can criticize him for hitting the rock, but I am not sure I would have had enough faith to even do that. But whatever level of trust Moses had, in that moment, at that level, it was not enough. Moses did not trust God enough to do it the way God directed him to do it. God wanted to draw the Israelites to Himself using kindness and mercy. Moses disagreed. He thought to himself that these people need a good come-to-Jesus meeting and he was going to give to them. He chose his own path and it was the path of a yelling, screaming tirade. He trusted God believing a river would flow out of a rock, but He did not trust God enough to follow directions. This lack of trust, in this quick-tempered moment, kept Moses from ever walking into the Promised Land. He was supposed to arrive one day into a land flowing with milk and honey, but he did not trust God enough.
“Well, he still went to Heaven preacherman!”
I realize that and I am sure it was a wonderful day when Moses arrived there, but The Lord intends for us to have great blessings both now and in eternity. What might we miss in Earthly blessings because we do not trust the Lord enough? You may say today that you do trust the Lord, but is there any place in your life where you are hitting the rock instead of speaking to it. You know how the Lord wants you to handle the situation, but deep down within you, you do not trust that God’s way will do the trick. The entire purpose of this book is to get you to ask yourself what kinds of milk and honey might you be missing in your marriage, your career, your relationships, because you do not trust the Lord enough.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
The emphasis to me in this passage are the words, ‘with all your heart.’ The words chosen here by the Holy Spirit in Proverbs 3 is not addressing trust, but the level of trust. Do we trust Him enough. What is enough though? Enough is: All of our heart. We must trust The Lord with all of our heart. All of our heart is the key phrase. Has it sunk in yet? It is the phrase that we read but do not grasp. It is the phrase that we all know and quote, but rarely do we consider the depth of this command. We must love The Lord with all of our heart. It is a huge call. Let’s consider the fact that The Lord brings rain on the just and the unjust. Even if we are unjust, we will still receive some blessings and this makes it easy to become content with less than what God has planned and promised. But do you really ever want to become content with the desert when the Promised Land is just across the river? The straight path that God is speaking of in Proverbs 3, though, comes only when we trust with all of our heart. And you can be sure of this: the straight path leads to blessings that far outweigh the regular ole’, run-of-the-mill blessings. Trusting at this level brings unusual, peculiar, supernatural prosperity into every…every….EVERY…area of our life. Make up your mind today to trust Him with all of your heart, then get ready because you will finally leave the desert and taste the milk and honey of our God.