Moses Hits the Rock

It’s been long since I had some reflections on Scripture… Masaya talaga pag lumuluwag ang schedule ^_^

Numbers 20:1-13

In this passage, we see why Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land. We however, may not understand why a seemingly “small” error on his part was considered by God as a grave offense, which, in a sense, far outweighed Moses’ decades of leading and service.

At the first glance, one might say that what he did was “strike the rock instead” of “talk to it.” You might say, “Ah, he wasn’t polite to the rock!”

The charge against Moses was more than just a lack of courtesy to inanimate objects. Before we continue, it would be best for us to see Exodus 17:1-7, where a similar incident happened on the very same place, about two decades prior.

Perhaps Moses was enraged by the forgetfulness of the Israelites, not noticing that they were in the very same place asking for the very same thing. Perhaps Moses was saying to himself, “must we (Moses and Aaron) prove to you again that you will not die here?” And so, in an almost duplicated reenactment, (sans God standing beside Moses perhaps?) Moses gallantly raises the prized staff and hits the rock…

It might be good to notice that in Numbers, Moses struck the rock TWICE instead of once, before water started rushing out. Perhaps Moses thought that he didn’t strike it hard enough, when in fact, the truth was, at that very moment, God was most likely reminding him that nothing about the stick can be miraculous apart from God’s permission. Perhaps after the first strike, God was testing if Moses would result back to speaking to inanimate objects, in obedience to God’s command. Perhaps God saw that Moses would continue to strike the rock a million times until he sees water, and therefore permitted water to rush out anyway, because God is the Provider after all…

Yet all these came at such a high cost. Moses disobeyed God and trusted in his hand and in his stick, regretfully forgetting for a few seconds that he was powerless, and that his stick was no anting-anting. By hitting the rock twice, Moses, as the representative of God among the Israelites, almost put God to shame among them.

and so, God’s verdict on Moses and Aaron was:

“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.”


1. Grace, mercy, and discipline go together, expect all of them to be present in your life.

2.We are to look back on our past experices, not to trust our experiences, but the God who gave them to us.

3. God works miracles in many, often unique ways. We cannot make a “Handbook of how to make miracles happen” and expect it to be a bestseller.

4. We are to have “no confidence in the flesh” (or the stick, for that matter).

Have a blessed day!

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