Numbers 20:11-12 KJV, “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. 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.”
Ellen G. White, The Spirit of Prophecy The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels and Satan and His Angels, Vol 1, 1870, Ch 28, P 310, Steam Press, Battle Creek, MI: “Here Moses sinned. He became wearied with the continual murmurings of the people against him, and at the commandment of the Lord, took the rod, and, instead of speaking to the rock, as God commanded him, he smote it with the rod twice, after saying, ‘Must we fetch you water out of this rock ?’ He here spoke unadvisedly with his lips. He did not say, God will now show you another evidence of his power, and bring you water out of this rock. He did not ascribe the power and glory to God for causing water to again flow from the flinty rock, and therefore did not magnify him before the people. For this failure on the part of Moses, God would not permit him to lead the people to the promised land.”
Sister White continues in p. 311, “In thus speaking [‘Must we fetch…’], he virtually admitted to murmuring Israel that they were correct in charging him with leading them from Egypt.”
Sister White further states in p. 313, “The sins of good men, whose general deportment has been worthy of imitation, are peculiarly offensive to God. They cause Satan to triumph, and to taunt the angels of God with the failings of God’s chosen instruments, and give the unrighteous occasion to lift themselves up against God. The Lord had himself led Moses in a special manner, and had revealed to him his glory, as to no other upon the earth. He was naturally impatient, but had taken hold firmly of the grace of God, and so humbly implored wisdom from Heaven, that he was strengthened from God, and had overcome his impatience so that he was called of God the meekest man upon the face of the whole earth.”
Three words Moses began speaking that caused him to sin, “Must we fetch . . .” He should had said, “Behold God’s power . . .” He might have been worn out, very tired, agitated, irritated, annoyed, disturbed, and in haste said those words. The distance from the heart to the mouth (head) is about 18 inches. Moses was banned from leading God’s people just by one selfish beat in his heart and three words that reveals it.
Moses acknowledged it, repented from it, and accepted God’s just punishment.
Lord, you have given me a responsible position to preach to your people. May I not forget Moses experience in Meribah [Heb: Quarelling]. In times of great stress help me find a way to deny self and honor You.
Psalm 19:14 KJV, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.”
Sincerely in the Blessed Hope.