“If you had known me then, the way I was before, then you’d understand why I can’t hold back the tears. Now my life is so different since I gave it to the Lord, and I want to give Him glory while I’m here. I stand before you knowing that it’s only by His grace that I am just what I am today. I’m a trophy of grace, a display of His love. I’m part of the results from the Old Rugged Cross that was stained with His precious blood. Though I’ll never understand why He died in my place, just look at me today because I can say I’m a trophy of grace” – Song, “Trophy of Grace”
I remember as a kid getting upset when one of my siblings would mess up my performance for my parents. Unfortunately, there are some tapes that still exist of me trying to put on a magic show, singing, or just doing something goofy for attention. It is even more unfortunate that some of these said tapes show me brokenhearted because my brother or one of my sisters destroyed my show. Although I would like to think I matured a lot since those childhood days, I do find myself getting irritated when a good sermon illustration or example get botched. If you have ever experienced the desire to communicate a Biblical truth only to have your example get broken down and lost in translation, you understand the great heartache.
What if your illustration and example is not one you came up with, but rather one God hopes to convey His eternal purposes through? If you mess that example up, you know there will be some consequences. Such is the case with Aaron and Moses, who royally botch God’s beautiful illustration of redemption and grace.
Moses has already been allowed to see God miraculously provide water from a rock when he struck the rock back in Exodus seventeen. This was no water fountain; God dumped a river out of rock and provided enough water for about two million people and animals to drink. Moses recollected this event, and in frustration does it again instead of following the instructions of God.
We don’t know all the reasons surrounding Moses frustration, which was out of character for him. This is the meekest man on the earth, and is known for his ability to take stressful situations and get them under control. This is a man who has on multiple occasions prayed for a people who have wished death upon him. What has changed, I honestly don’t know and all we can do is speculate. It may have something to do with his sister passing away. Possibly his actions were aided by the added stress of complaint after complaint after complaint. Whatever the reason, we find a major lapse of judgment, and a conscious decision to disobey God.
Instead of speaking to the rock, Moses hits the rock twice. God in His mercy provides the water for the people, but it comes with consequences. Moses and Aaron would not be allowed to enter the Promised Land, and would die in the wilderness. Aaron’s death would come fairly quickly and Moses would be allowed to see the land from a distance before his death at 120 years of age.
God was trying to communicate a picture of His Gospel through these rock encounters, and Moses in his foolishness destroyed the imagery. The Rock of the Lord Jesus Christ would be smitten for our sins, and the water of life would flow freely for all. Today whosoever will may come and drink of the Water of Life freely; all you have to do is speak to the Rock of Ages. Jesus was smitten once for all the sins of all of humanity, and now salvation is available if we “call upon the name of the Lord”.
I can only imagine that God is trying to use your life as an illustration and example of His grace. We are His trophies of grace, displays of His glory, and vessels of honor for Him. Our life is meant to be a living breathing testimony of what His cleansing blood can do to redeem a life from sin.
Today make the conscience decision not to mess up the beautiful illustration of God Gospel that He is trying to make of your life. Be willing to allow your light to shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.
Daily Scripture Reading
Numbers 18 - 20
“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 drink.”