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May 11th, 2011 – Numbers 20

Click here to read Numbers 20 on BibleGateway.com

The hard part about reading the Bible is that sometimes it’s like looking in a mirror, and not a good mirror like in the dressing room at JCPenney, but the bad mirrors like at rest stops that make you look like you’ve been running the Iditarod on foot for the last fortnight. When we read the stories about the Israelites, it’s so easy for us to laugh at their idiocy, until we realize that we do the exact same things on a daily basis. Example? Very well.

In Numbers 20, we find the famous story of Water Coming from the Rock II, the Sequel. 40 years earlier, the Israelites were wowed by God providing water from a rock when Moses struck it with his staff, but by this time their memory has faded and they start complaining again.


We tend to think that they are complaining about water, but look at what they actually complain about: Num 20:5 “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!” There’s no figs, grapevines, or pomegranates? Oh, and also, no water. It’s like water is the afterthought.

Let’s not forget, this is after 40 years of God providing manna everyday, quail for the potlucks, and clothing that never wears out. And what’s the first thing on their mind? “Where’s my figs and pomegranates?”


Before we get on our mocking pants, let’s update this story to our time.

After 40 years of serving the Lord in the most prosperous nation in the history of the world, the children of America turned to their pastor and said “why don’t we have cappucino like the church down the street? Why is our church van so old and worn out? How come our carpet is so dirty?”

I don’t know about you, but that makes me think less of how silly the Israelites are, and more “ouch.” How many of us have served the Lord for years, but we complain when we have to make due with a 5-year old car? Or have to shop at wal-mart instead of Macy’s. Or only have “one” laptop? Maybe we aren’t as different from the Israelites as we’d like to think.

What pomegranates are you focused on today?

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