The story unfolds in Numbers 20 as Moses and Aaron listen to the complaints of the thirsty Israelites and then move into the door of the tabernacle and fall upon their faces. The LORD appears to them in all His glory, and the LORD tells Moses to get his walking stick, call the people together and speak to the rock before their eyes,
and it would give forth water for the assembly and their beasts to drink. After Moses and Aaron had gathered the people around the rock, Moses declares "Look, you rebellious people, and you will see water flow from this rock!" Moses then lifts up his hand and strikes the rock twice with his staff, bringing forth much water. But the LORD says to Moses and Aaron, "Because you refused to believe in my power, these people did not respect me. And so, you will not be the ones to lead them into the land I have promised."
This is the second time that Moses received water from the rock. The first time is in Exodus 17, where the LORD commanded Moses to strike the rock with his stick. Moses obeyed the LORD and the water flowed.
We see a New Testament admonition by Paul in I Cor. 10 which clarifies some things about the wilderness journey and notes that Christ WAS the rock that followed them in the wilderness and that they all drank the same spiritual drink from that rock. Also that most of the Israelites died in the desert as a warning to us. We see that they didn't enter in (to the promised land) because of their unbelief (Heb. 3:19, 4:6,11.)
We, as New Testament believers, are ambassadors for Christ (II Cor. 5:20) and ministers of reconciliation. The ambassador is the king's personal representative. He does not represent himself or his own interests, only the heart and interests of his king. Whether it be an intent to nurture and help, or a solemn warning, the ambassador accurately conveys the kings wishes. If the kingdom requires assets to confirm or enforce the king's edicts, then the ambassador may call upon the resources of the kingdom to establish the king's interests.
It appears that God was (and is) very serious about the way in which HE is represented by HIS people. I believe that this is one of the most important admonitions to the end times church. God has tolerated by HIS grace and mercy, much superficial, irrelevant, and silly activity that has misrepresented HIM, both among HIS people and to the world in general. My thought is that some of this has hindered the spread of the real gospel and caused much disrespect for God (see first paragraph.) It is a symptom of unbelief when we substitute religious form or personal agendas for the life and love of God as demonstrated in Christ through the Holy Spirit. The kingdom of God is not JUST a theology or set of information. . . it consists of a demonstration of the life of God that is lived out on the earth among HIS people.
I'd like to write down a few examples which come to mind of areas where we (I) have misrepresented God. Please note that this is not to condemn anyone, but to challenge all of us to prayer and listening to the Holy Spirit at this crucial time in history, when HIS body is being called upon to re-present Jesus to the world and ultimately become the spotless bride of the SON. Remember that all of creation is breathlessly awaiting for the revealing of the sons of God (Rom. 8:19.) These are the sons who accurately reflect the person, heart, intentions, love, warnings, truth, etc. of our KING.
Here are a few examples to consider:
God bless, Grover
Let's DO Life!