There is a popular view that an all-wise God would not be as fussy as some Christians think about “details concerning salvation.”
Numbers 20 provides important insights into God’s attitude towards the level of obedience he expects with respect to specific instructions.
God provided Moses with a staff which he used to perform numerous miracles and could be deemed to give Moses special powers.
40 years earlier than the incident at the Waters of Meribah that is recounted in Numbers 20, God instructed Moses to strike a rock with his staff to produce water for the rebellious Israelites.
In the 40th year of the exodus the next generation are rebelling about water among other things. God instructs Moses to “take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water.”
40 years after, God demands that Moses discards his previous experience, control his anger and follow these new specific instructions. Moses was to speak not strike.
We read in verse 11 that Moses was actually successful in getting water for the community and their livestock. But verse 12 is telling. “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring the community into the land I give them.”
After confronting Pharaoh and struggling with leading the Israelites going into the 40th year, Moses is going to be denied access to the Promised Land.
Is this a compliance-wanting God?
What are your thoughts?