Incomplete Obedience

Then the Lord said to Moses, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have now allowed you to see it with your own eyes, but you will not enter the land.” (Deuteronomy 34:4 NLT)

Incomplete obedience is always disobedience.

In Numbers 20 we are given the reason Moses is not allowed to enter the Promise Land. God had told Moses and Aaron, when Israel needed water to speak to the rock, and Moses in frustration and anger smote rock twice. Partial or incomplete obedience is always disobedience, and its consequences are always dire.

But there is more going on there than just obedience. What is concealed in the Old Testament is revealed in the new. In 1 Corinthians 10:3-4 the Apostle Paul, shows how the rock in the Old Testament foreshadowed Jesus Christ, our Rock. When Moses struck the rock, it showed that he did not trust God or his Word. When we try to add to the Cross of Christ in our works righteousness, we are saying that Christ’s sacrifice in not enough. Hebrews 10:10 NLT says, For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.

Now, you might be thinking, is this a little too severe of a consequence? Moses, who was referred to as the meekest man on the earth at the time, would not be allowed to enter the Promise Land.  Leadership has its privilege but also its corresponding responsibility. When Moses struck the rock, it displayed a disregard for the integrity and character of God. Unbelief in leadership does not affect just the leader, but all who are led. In God’s concern for all his people, he often deals more severely with leadership. Just as the unbelief and incomplete obedience of Moses, was perpetrated publicly, the consequence for his sin was dealt for all Israel to see. The severity of the consequence underscores the importance of obedience and faith in God’s plan.

Yet, even in God’s judgment he showed mercy by letting Moses go up onto the mountain to view the Promised Land. He experienced the Promise Land by faith, the way he had received everything else in his life.

Image used with permission from Microsoft.

Ken Barnes, the author of  “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places”  YWAM Publishing and Broken Vessels through Kindle Direct Publishing.

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