Daily Lectionary: Numbers 20:1-21; Luke 20:19-44
And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land.” (Numbers 20:12 ESV)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Moses and Aaron will not enter the Promised Land. Why? What did they do wrong?
First, they became angry and lost patience with the people. “I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment” (Matthew 5:22).
Second, they took credit for the miracle: “Shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” Indeed, striking the rock with the staff might have been an attempt at magical manipulation of the elements. By taking credit for the miracle, they failed to sanctify and honor God before the people.
Finally, the Lord said that Moses and Aaron did not believe in Him. They didn’t trust God and depend on Him. All sin grows out of a failure to trust God.
Normally, Israel sins and Moses and Aaron must rescue them. Moses intercedes through prayer to turn away God’s wrath. However, who will intercede for Moses? Aaron propitiates the Lord with sacrifices. However, who will offer a sacrifice for Aaron?
I suppose that we can learn from this story that all human leaders, even those in the Church, are sinful and prone to failure. If the security of the Church rested on pastors, elders, trustees, and the like, then the Church would be doomed.
Thankfully, the Church rests safely on Jesus. He alone is the solid foundation of the Church and the Church will neither sink (Matthew 7:24-27) nor will it fall to the armies of hell (Matthew 16:18). Jesus made Himself a sacrifice for all of His people and He intercedes for us at the right hand of His Father. Furthermore, this sinless and faithful Man is our Head and King. He will never lead His Church astray, but will bring us to our Promised Land. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Jesus, advocate on high, Sacrificed on Calv’ry’s altar, Through Your priestly blood we cry, Hear our prayers, though they may falter; Place them on Your Father’s throne As Your own. (Hear Us, Father, When We Pray, LSB 773:3)