Chukat - June 19, 2021

Torah Portion:
Chukat - June 19, 2021

Torah: Numbers 19:1-22:1
Haftarah: Judges 11:1-33
Portion Summary:
—The ritual of the red heifer is given.
—The ritual for exposure to the dead is given.
—Miriam dies.
—God tells Moses to order the rock to give water to the complaining people, but he strikes the rock and as a result is told that he may not enter the land.
—Edom refuses the people passage through their land.
—Aaron dies.
—The king of Arad battles with them and loses.
—The people complain about the food and a plague of serpents descends.
—The Amorites refuse them passage through their land, do battle with them, and lose.
—King Og goes to battle with them and loses.

Devotional by Janet Cothrell:
“ADONAI spoke to Moses saying, ‘Take the staff and gather the assembly, you and your brother Aaron. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will give out its water. You will bring out water from the rock, and you will give the community something to drink, along with their livestock.’” Numbers 20:7-8 (TLV)

The people were grumbling and complaining again, and this time with good reason. Life does not go on for long without water, and they had none. God saw this and gave the solution without anger.

Moses was evidently at a ragged end with the frequent complaints and criticisms of the people. It is a curious thing that God would order Moses to take his staff but not to use it. This was a test of whether Moses would still allow them to see God’s glory or allow his temper to get out of control. The texts tells us that Moses reacted angrily towards the people by calling them rebels, and said that we (including himself) would bring water from the rock. He struck it twice, as if to put punctuation on his indignation. As he did this, it was as if he was lashing out at Yeshua Himself, striking the Rock of our salvation!  

When we sin, we fail to reflect God’s glory. As we repent and return to Him, He will forgive our sins but won’t always shield us from their consequences. The cost of Moses’ actions prevented him from going into the Land. For us, the consequences for failing to work in tandem with the Lord can cause us to become impatient and lash out in anger, usually hurting those around us.

My Lord,
Thank You for the opportunities You give to allow Your glorious attributes to shine through me. Please teach me patience and humbleness, so that You can be seen, and glorified!
In Yeshua’s name, amen.
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