“And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.”
For the most part of Moses’ life after he started to lead Israel, you would find it hard to find anything in his life that would cause a smudge in his record. However, the verse above is the one area where Moses got in the flesh and committed the great sin that caused him not to be able to enter into the Promised Land.
It was after Miriam died that Israel’s journeys took them to a place in the desert called Meribah. The people, as their habit was, murmured against Moses and accused him of wanting to kill them. One can certainly understand Moses’ frustration with these people, and he brought his frustration to God who commanded him to speak to the rock. However, Moses’ frustration came to a boiling point, and he thought he needed to make it clear to the people about his frustration. Moses gathered the people to the rock and said to them, “…must we fetch you water out of this rock?” It was after this statement that he smote the rock instead of speaking to it as God said. God said to Moses, “Because ye believed me not…” In this short little phrase is the reason Moses messed up. Let me show you what Moses did because every person who sins makes the same mistake.
First, Moses’s focus went from God to himself. Though the word “me” in the verse above is talking about God, you can see that Moses took his focus off God and placed it on himself. This is why Moses asked Israel, “…must we fetch you water out of this rock?” Moses got me-focused instead of God-focused, and it resulted in his sin. The focus of every sin is “me.” You will find that sin’s attraction will be repulsive if you get your eyes off “me” and place them on God.
Second, the second mistake Moses made was that he blamed the people for his anger. Anytime you get your eyes off God, you will find it easy to blame your shortcomings and sin on others. Many people who become self-focused acquire a “not me” attitude. Everything that happens is because of others. Moses knew that he believed God, but the people were the problem in his mindset. You cannot blame others for your sins. The reason you do wrong is because you choose to do wrong. You can have a self-righteous mindset about yourself and how good you think you are, but that doesn’t change how God sees your sin. You must realize that no matter how good you think you are and how bad you think others are does not change how God sees you. A “not me” mindset always causes you to blame others for your sins. You will never change your situation until you accept responsibility for your own sin.
Third, Moses became excuse-based for his sins. When God brought the focus down to Moses, he then blamed his problems on how frustrated he became with the people’s murmuring. No matter what your excuse is for why you do something, your excuse is never a good reason to disobey God. God demands obedience from His children, and no matter what “good” excuse you have for why you do wrong, it is still wrong. My friend, you are not the first person to face what you are facing, and whatever you are facing is not a good reason to sin. Let me encourage you to get your eyes off yourself, and you will see clearly that your only choice in life is to obey God.