Quarrels between people of faith are often bitter, bewildering and brutal. In the heat of the moment, we too often fail to act as God wants. It was that way for Moses. (Read Numbers 20:1-13 for a fuller picture.)
Moses allowed this quarrel to divert him from following God’s directions. God clearly told Moses what to do, but instead of simply speaking to the rock as God had commanded, Moses asked the people, “Must we bring you water out of this rock?” Then he struck the rock twice with his staff and the water did pour out just as God had said it would.
While Moses may have been quite pleased with himself at the moment, God was not. God had intended people to remember how God provides. Instead Moses was more concerned with proving to people what a powerful leader he was.
As a result, when the people arrived at the Promised Land, Moses was allowed to get a glimpse of it, but he was not permitted to enter it with them.
In our efforts for Christian unity, I suspect we’re too much like Moses.
Gracious God, when I start to wander into quarreling rather than discussing, please help me listen to your voice. Amen. — KW