The Story of Redemption


Chapter 21—The Sin of Moses

This chapter is based on Numbers 20.

Again the congregation of Israel was brought into the wilderness, to the very place where God proved them soon after leaving Egypt. The Lord brought them water out of the rock, which had continued to flow until just before they came again to the rock, when the Lord caused that living stream to cease, to prove His people again, to see if they would endure the trial of their faith or would again murmur against Him. SR 164.1

When the Hebrews were thirsty and could find no water, they became impatient and did not remember the power of God which had, nearly forty years before, brought them water out of the rock. Instead of trusting God, they complained of Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the Lord!” That is, they wished that they had been of that number who had been destroyed by the plague in the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. SR 164.2

They angrily inquired, “Why have ye brought up the congregation of the Lord into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there? And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink. SR 164.3

“And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto them. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts to drink. And Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as He commanded him. SR 165.1