Psalm 106:24-33 [KJV]
24 Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not his word:
25 But murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the LORD.
26 Therefore he lifted up his hand against them, to overthrow them in the wilderness:
27 To overthrow their seed also among the nations, and to scatter them in the lands.
28 They joined themselves also unto Baalpeor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead.
29 Thus they provoked him to anger with their inventions: and the plague brake in upon them.
30 Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: and so the plague was stayed.
31 And that was counted unto him for righteousness unto all generations for evermore.
32 They angered him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses for their sakes:
33 Because they provoked his spirit, so that he spake unadvisedly with his lips.
Moses wanted one thing that God would not give him: the privilege of entering the Promised Land. You'll remember that Moses had sinned against the Lord and therefore was not permitted to go into Canaan (Num. 20). He brought the nation right up to the border and then had to go up on the mountain and die.
The Israelites were partly to blame for Moses' sin. "They angered Him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses on account of them; because they rebelled against His Spirit, so that he spoke rashly with his lips" (vv. 32,33). Moses and Aaron asked God for water for the thirsty people, and He said, "Speak to the rock, and the water will come out." But Moses lost his temper--the people provoked him--and he struck the rock. God gave them the water, but He said to Moses, "You have not sanctified me before the people in what you said or in what you did."
Leaders sin, and sometimes God's people provoke them to sin. If only the Israelites had gone to Moses and said, "Moses, we are praying for you," "Moses, we love you," or, "Thank you, Moses, for interceding for us. Thank you for all that you've done for us." But instead they complained and criticized. My heart goes out to Christian workers and leaders who are surrounded by people who cannot say thank you but constantly criticize and complain.
Many people don't realize the costs of being a spiritual leader. The higher we are in leadership, the greater our discipline. If Moses had been an ordinary citizen of Israel, God might not have stopped him from going into the Promised Land. But Moses was a leader. When leaders sin, they pay dearly for it. Let's not cause anyone else to sin today. Be an encouragement to the people of God.
Are you a leader in your church or group? You have an awesome responsibility to God and to those under your direction. The sin of a leader can cause widespread damage. Take special measures to avoid compromising situations and don't let others cause you to take your eyes off the Lord. Also, always pray for, encourage and support your leaders.
[ Prayer for the Day ]
Dear Lord, forgive me if I have been instrument in provoking Your appointed to sin. I also ask You to bless me and help to develop the fruit to Holy Spirit so that I may not shake when situations become difficult. I ask this prayer in Jesus' Name. Amen.
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