Angry Loss

What does anger cause us to miss? Our frustration, bitterness and resentment can taint our day and cause us to lash out at people, damage relationships and create difficult situations. This response does not convey God’s love, grace or holiness to others. When we respond to life with anger, we miss out on what God would have for us that day.

In the case of Moses, his anger with the Israelites caused him to miss out on entering the land God promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In Numbers 20:8, God tells Moses, “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.” Instead of following directions, Moses let his anger get the best of him.

He tells the Israelites, “Listen now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock (10)?” He then strikes the rock twice with his rod and water pours out (11). It’s an angry outburst that disobeys God’s instructions. It does not represent God’s graciousness in providing for their needs. Moses does not even mention God. Instead he says, “shall we bring forth water.” After this angry outburst, God told Moses, “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 (12).”

In Deuteronomy 34, God takes Moses up to “Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho” to see the promised land (1). “Then the LORD said to him, ‘This is the land which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants’; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there (4).’” Moses dies without entering the promised land with the Israelites (5-6).

When we let anger get the best of us, we take the focus off God and His goodness. We lose sight of His love and grace that we can extend to others. We become a mouthpiece for our own bitterness and selfish motives instead of a witness for God’s work and provision.

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