I grew up with the local teaching and mentality of how Moses had an anger problem and how it denied him admission into the Promised Land. Based on new revelation direct from the Holy Spirit, I now stand to disagree.
Background of the Study
Moses was simply a Hebrew-Egyptian. He was born at a time when the children of Israel had been turned to slaves by Pharaoh because of their number and exceeding great success. As at the particular time of his birth, there was an order by Pharaoh to drown every new born male child, but his mother saw greatness in him and therefore hid him and spared his life. When she could no longer hide him, she made an ark and sent the baby on a riverine expedition, during which he was found and was subsequently adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter. By that adoption he became an Egyptian (Exodus 1 – 2:10).
The Zeal of Moses
From the onset, Moses had immense love for his fellow Israelites, a background he knew he was from even being Pharaoh’s son. The murder of that Egyptian was not an anger problem, but a matter of immense love and zeal towards the God of Israel, whom deep inside him, he knew was his God. This formed one, if not the major reason why God chose him. From the book of Exodus down to Numbers 19, before the punishment, you will see a constantly nagging and murmuring Israel, a constantly perplexed and angry God and a constantly interceding Moses.
Why would some people blindly say Moses had an anger problem when they haven’t even actually studied the life and times of this great man? Of course, they never knew that according to Numbers 12:3, Moses was the meekest man on earth in his time. According to Encarta Dictionaries (2009), the word meek, means showing mildness or quietness of nature; it also means showing submissiveness. In the light of this, how can the meekest man on earth have an anger problem? Will you say Jesus had an anger problem because he chased out the traders in the temple, most of which probably would have been well over his age or mates? We are so quick to confusing zeal with anger because of the conditions of our hearts. Anger and rage for God is zeal and not classified as anger, it becomes sin when the name of God is not glorified in that display of anger; that is why the Bible says, “Be ye angry, and sin not” (Ephesians 4:26).
I watched the video of a very popular man of God in Nigeria slapping a supposed witch right before the large congregation because she said she was a witch for Jesus. In our eyes, what he did was very wrong, and she can sue him right? I have my own personal critical view against such action and I think that was uncalled for and unchristian-like, Jesus would definitely not have slapped that poor woman, but this is not the time for that. The man must have been like, how dare you say you are a witch for Jesus? Are you mad? Some people would then say he has an anger problem, but the truth is in God’s eyes, it is somewhat a different ballgame, that action probably added to God’s covenant and blessings upon him because of his display of anger for the Lord, which is zeal. Of course, I’m not God, but this should make us understand how God sees our actions and judges them. If I were the one, I would most certainly spend a good deal of time laughing initially because it is actually funny, but I definitely would never do such a thing, slap the woman. ‘Witch for Jesus’ LOL (Laughing Out Loud)!
The Downfall of Moses
From the onset, God has never joked with His glory, the Bible says that His name is Jealous (Exodus 34:14), and many other passages in the Bible confirm God as being a jealous God; even Jesus always ascribed all glory, honour and power to the father (God). The downfall of Moses was not his anger, but he failed to ascribe the glory to God in his zeal. Let us look at the full scenario in Numbers 20:7-12,
“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 drink. And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him. And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. 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.”
He was asked to speak to the rock and the rod was for him and Aaron to gather the people. God was specific about Moses speaking to the rock before the eyes of the Israelites, but he smote the rock, twice for that matter. They annoyed Moses yet again, but this time he did not just disobey God, he contended with His glory. Automatically, that action was not just an act of disobedience, but was highly disrespectful and degrading to God. That meant that the power of God at that moment was limited to striking the rock twice, whereas, by the ultimate power of God, all that was needed was the spoken word. Moses shared God’s glory with Him which is a no go area.Remember that when God was speaking to Moses about speaking to the rock, the congregation wasn’t there, so the conversation was between him, Aaron and God alone. Now, when he smote the rock, twice for that matter, the Israelites would have been thinking that was the capacity of God in that situation and give lesser glory to God, whom they had no faith in, in the first place. The glory of God is nonnegotiable.God said, “Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel…” (Numbers 20:12). So we can see that it was a matter of glory.
In many places in the Bible, you would see that God never jokes with His glory, He is a jealous God. Anybody that contended with God’s glory was either destroyed, punished or abased, for example, Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:29-37). That was the cause of the downfall of Moses. You will see that God still loved and esteemed Moses high above every other. God even showed him a glimpse of the Promised Land, but God couldn’t just negotiate with His glory because He is a jealous God, He is so jealous, that His name is Jealous. God also said in Isaiah 42:8,
“I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images”
Zeal and anger for the Lord are actually virtues that have never gone unnoticed and unrewarded for good by God. That man of God I mentioned earlier is even waxing stronger and expanding financially more and more, for the record, he is considered the richest man of God in Nigeria, if not Africa. The mistake Moses made was that he cared too much for people that were not worth it and when you do that, especially in the house of God, you will tend to fall in the trap of disobeying God’s voice for the voice of your pain and anger, and end up sharing God’s glory with Him. Like I said earlier, all through Moses’ life, you will see a constantly nagging and murmuring Israel, a constantly angered God and a constantly interceding Moses. Moses had no specific reward for interceding for the foolish Israelites (non that I know of), in fact, there was always a time when God couldn’t take it any longer and destroyed them, even though Moses interceded on their behalf.
Moses had been pushed to the wall by the Israelites, that is why in Numbers 20:10 he said, “…Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?” He then went ahead and smote it twice. He must have been so perplexed that he didn’t feel that they deserved such a miracle. He said, “ye rebels, must we fetch you water out of this rock?” He was already acting god-like, as in, after God had answered their complaints, Moses was like, “why should we (Himself, Aaron and God) even fetch you water out of this rock?” He probably must have just hissed and smote the rock out of disgust for them. I can’t stop but feel his pain. At that point, he lost his guard and contended with God’s glory.
From the foregoing, the following lessons can be learnt:
1. Firstly, never care too much for people who have proven themselves not to be worth it. These set of people include (but are not limited to), the ungrateful, unthankful, unbelieving, hypocrites, proud, pompous, unteachable, unconvincing, murmurers, etc. Luke 9:5 says “And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.” There is no other way. As you read on in the Bible, you would see that the Israelites still kept on disobeying and vexing God, even after the sacrifice of Moses that cost him the Promised Land. This is one of the most painful events that could happen to anyone, to suffer and be punished for people who are not worth it at all. All you’ll have is regret and all you’ll keep saying is “Had I known…” By doing this, you will get to move on easily and faster with your life and even achieve more for God. Please don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t mean that people cannot change, people can change for the best and even for the worst; that is why you need to be operating in love, judgment and justice, and the leading of the Holy Spirit so you know you’re doing the right thing. For example, you’re a guy and you love a girl so much. You try so hard to prove your love for her but she disses and rejects you because you don’t have money, or she discriminates against you because of your tribe or race. You keep trying and trying, and she even openly embarrasses you. You don’t even need the leading of any spirit to tell you to find your square root. Then you make it in life and become wealthy, what will you do if that girl comes apologizing and professing her love for you? Now, if you had continued chasing her, you would only end up worse off financially and emotionally because of the psychological effects that rejection would have on your emotions, while she moves on probably getting an ignorant rich dude (or a maga).
2. Lastly, never take your eyes and mind off the big picture, the truth and the voice or leading of God upon your life, never. It is better for the whole world to be against you and God be for you, than the other way round. As noted in the first point, the worst thing that can ever happen to you, trust me, like Moses is to be punished for the sins and stupidity of others while they themselves get to live on and are probably even forgiven and then you become a scapegoat. Don’t meddle in other people’s businesses when not invited, it will only cause you pain.
Moses did not have an anger problem at all. Let us apply common sense here, imagine having a child that constantly disobeys and goes against you especially when all you want is what is best for the child. Each time that child goes astray, would you be happy? Won’t you get angry and annoyed? Imagine watching somebody attempting to kill your brother, your brother being overpowered and at the point of death, what would you do? Call 911 or go and rescue your brother even if it means destroying that person? These are situations that require common sense, even I don’t pray to find myself in any. The fact that you act accordingly in these situations doesn’t make you have an anger problem. That is why there is something called ‘acting in self-defense’ in the court of law. Now, in the case of Moses, he wasn’t even in any way directly involved or connected to any of those Israelites, but he still loved them and interceded on their behalf.
Moses contended with the glory of God when he smote the rock, the fact that he smote it twice was just like adding insult to injury. He had already broken the tablets of stone initially, nothing happened, rather judgment was executed upon the rebellious Israelites, why is it when he just smote the rock instead of speaking to it that he was punished? He contended with the glory of God.
Well, you’ve seen for yourself, be wise about your dealings with people, come out from among them and be ye separate, if people are not adding value to you, and you can’t add value to them either because they won’t allow you to. Don’t deceive yourself, don’t waste your precious time for nothing and don’t ever lose sight of the big picture, God called you alone. It is better for the whole world to be against you and hate you, and God be for you; than for the whole world to be for you and love you, and God be against you.
Cheers and God bless you infinitely!!!
© 2013 Godsplan Uzoaga.