For numerous times in their journey in the wilderness, the community of Israel had rallied against Moses and his brother Aaron, complaining of how better off they would have been if they were still in Egypt. This attitude of ungratefulness was portrayed whenever they were met with obstacles. From our scripture readings, we are told that when they arrived in the wilderness of Zin, there was no water to drink; so as usual they rebelled against Moses and Aaron.
Moses as a result falls on God who directs him to assemble the people to a rock, and to speak to this rock, for water to gush out for the people. He gathers the people all right, but he out of frustration strikes the rock twice with his staff saying, “Listen, you rebels Shall we get water for you out of this rock?” instead of speaking to it as God had instructed, the Psalmist said, he spoke harshly. Though the water came, this act of disobedience by Moses and his brother did not go unpunished – they both died, failing to reach the Promised Land.
Every leader has a responsibility of taking care of God’s flock. Nevertheless, we cannot lose sight of the fact that leaders at the same time have a personal responsibility of keeping their salvation. The disobedience of Moses and Aaron was obviously born out of the constant grumblings of the Israelites. Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:27 (NIV), “… I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize”. No matter how frustrating or tempting a member or members may be, as a leader you owe it as a duty to yourself and to God to “beat” your body in order to obtain the “prize”.