The Price of Sin
This devotional was written by Leslie Snyder
So Moses took the staff from the LORD’s presence, just as he commanded him. He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.” —Numbers 20:9-12
There is a difficult component to the story of Moses’ life. After leading the community of Israel out of Egyptian slavery and then leading them grumbling in the wilderness for forty years, one act of disobedience disqualified Moses from entering the Promised Land. In short, he took for himself the honor that was due to God alone at the waters of Meribah and lost the reward he had so longed for: entrance into the land of Canaan.
Moses had to put up with grumbling, complaining, insurrections, disobedience, and idol worship. He had every human right to be fed up with these people. I’m sure I would have acted in frustration long before Moses’ encounter with the rock. A lesser person would have argued with God about the consequence, yet Moses did not.
God is serious about sin, and disobedience always comes at a cost. However, in His grace, God granted Moses’ final request to see the land, but the original punishment remained. Moses would not enter the Promised Land, but would instead die on Mt. Nebo.
Sin has consequences. Often they are natural consequences of wrong decisions. At other times, God disciplines His children, even as a parent disciplines a child. How we respond to these consequences makes all the difference.
Leadership expert John Maxwell says, “Sin will always take you further than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you are willing to pay.” Take some time to reflect on the consequences of sin in your life. Thank God for the forgiveness He offers even when we must live with sin’s consequences.
Deuteronomy 3:23-27; Psalm 32:1-5; Proverbs 3:11