Losing your self-control in the heat of the moment can be disastrous. Remember Moses? Here he was again with the people whining and complaining of thirst. It wasn’t the first time. God had provided water before and he would do it again. But Moses had had it with the people and his frame of mind was about to get him in trouble.
Moses was so caught up in his growing anger, that he missed the change in God’s instruction. God said, “Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and TELL the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So you shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their cattle.” Now, a couple of things are going to happen here. Moses is going to take the staff from the Lord, and he and Aaron go gather the crowd. By this time, Moses has pretty much had it and says to the crowd, “Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” Then disaster strikes. Moses lifts up his hand and STRIKES THE ROCK with his staff – TWICE. The water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock. Everything’s fine. Right?
We know what happens next. Everybody thinks that the striking of the rock was the only offense. But something else happened as well. Yes, Moses was in disobedience when he struck the rock. However, because of anger and pride, he took credit for what God had done (shall WE bring water for you). God’s response, “Because you did not believe in me, to uphold ME as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.” After everything he had accomplished for God, Moses blew it in an instant.
Many have said that God’s punishment was too harsh. How many times have we spoken to someone in anger and then told them, “I didn’t mean it.” Yes you did. The Bible tells us in Matthew, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Whatever is in our heart, sooner or later, is going to come out of our mouth. Remember, God sees our heart. That was the problem. Moses’ words revealed his heart and it cost him everything. Don’t let words and actions in the heat of the moment cause you to lose everything.