Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | August 5, 2014

“sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts”

Today’s devotion comes from Numbers 20:1-13.

“1 Then the sons of Israel, the whole congregation, came to the wilderness of Zin in the first month;  and the people stayed at Kadesh. Now Miriam died there and was buried there.

2 There was no water for the congregation, and they assembled themselves against Moses and Aaron.  3 The people thus contended with Moses and spoke, saying, “If only we had perished when our brothers perished before the Lord!  4 Why then have you brought the Lord’s assembly into this wilderness, for us and our beasts to die here?  5 Why have you made us come up from Egypt, to bring us in to this wretched place?  It is not a place of grain or figs or vines or pomegranates, nor is there water to drink.”  6 Then Moses and Aaron came in from the presence of the assembly to the doorway of the tent of meeting and fell on their faces.  Then the glory of the Lord appeared to them;  7 and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,

8 “Take the rod;  and you and your brother Aaron assemble the congregation and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it may yield its water.  You shall thus bring forth water for them out of the rock and let the congregation and their beasts drink.”

9 So Moses took the rod from before the Lord, just as He had commanded him;  10 and Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly before the rock.  And he said to them, “Listen now, you rebels;  shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?”  11 Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod;  and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation and their beasts drank.  12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”  13 Those were the waters of Meribah, because the sons of Israel contended with the Lord, and He proved Himself holy among them.”  Numbers 20:1-13.

———————-

Moses was commanded to speak to the rock before their eyes, but he struck the rock twice with his rod.  Moses seemed focused on the people and on speaking to the people, more than he seemed focused on the LORD and on listening carefully to the LORD and obeying the LORD exactly.

When Moses struck the rock twice with his rod, water did come forth abundantly and the people and the congregation and their beasts did drink.

“All is well, that ends well.”  Right?!

No!!!

“But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”  Verse 12.

Today’s Scripture teaches us that we should be focused more on God than on people.  We should be more focused on listening to God than speaking to people.  We should be more focused on obeying God than responding to people.

Today’s Scripture teaches us that we should believe in God and treat God as holy in the sight of all people.

Reformed Doctrine helps us do these things.

Reformed Doctrine focuses more on God and God’s work than on man, man’s works, and man’s alleged free will.

Reformed Doctrine focuses more on “listening” to what God states in Scripture is His work of salvation (the “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of “TULIP”) than on what man wants to be the cause of his salvation (man’s works or man’s alleged free will).

Reformed Doctrine focuses more on obeying God by speaking the truth of God’s work of salvation more than on worrying what man may think of it and responding in a “seeker-sensitive way” to man’s natural aversion to God’s sovereignty and predestination.

Reformed Doctrine believes that God can totally and perfectly accomplish salvation by God’s grace alone.

Reformed Doctrine treats God as holy in the sight of all people:  “… who are you, O man, who answers back to God?  The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it?  Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?”  Romans 9:20-21.  Reformed Doctrine gives all the credit and glory to God for salvation, and it is not ashamed to defend God’s sovereignty.

In summary, so to speak in the language of today’s Scripture, Reformed Doctrine teaches that we don’t need to strike (use force or be dependent on our own powers of persuasion), we can speak (in dependence on God):  “… sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence”.  1 Peter 3:15.

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