26/2/11 Numbers 19-20; Psalm 28; Mark 5
S: Numbers 20:8-12 The Lord said to Moses, “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.” So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence, just as he commanded him. 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?” Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honour me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”
O: Moses was quite fed up with the Israelites’ complaints, and his anger led him to want to show off his connection to God and God-given legitimacy. So instead of obeying God’s instructions to speak to the rock, he struck it in his anger, and as a result, lost the chance to enter the Promised Land. (Though he didn’t lose his salvation, and the Bible still affirms him as a great prophet.)
As James 1:19-20 says, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because our anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
A: Many times I have gotten angry at people and allowed my unrighteous human anger to provoke me to say and do things I regret later. There is a righteous anger – Jesus displayed it at the Temple when he drove out the people who made it into a den of thieves – but most of the time, our anger is unrighteous, even if it is in reaction to a truly unjust situation, like Moses’.
So I need to be careful and restrained when I get angry. Becoming angry itself is not a sin – it’s just an emotion. But we can easily sin in our reaction to that anger.
P: Father, please help me in my self-control when I do get angry, and to react in a godly manner.