Before God permitted them to enter Canaan, they must show that they believed His promise. The water ceased before they had reached Edom. Here was an opportunity for them, for a little time, to walk by faith instead of sight. But the first trial developed the same turbulent, unthankful spirit that had been manifested by their fathers. No sooner was the cry for water heard in the encampment than they forgot the hand that had for so many years supplied their wants, and instead of turning to God for help, they murmured against Him , in their desperation exclaiming, “Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the Lord!” (Numbers 20:1-13); that is, they wished they had been of the number who were destroyed in the rebellion of Korah.
Their cries were directed against Moses and Aaron: “Why have ye brought up the congregation of the Lord into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there? And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto
this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink.”
en. Long had they borne with the rebellion and obstinacy of Israel; but now, at last, even the patience of Moses gave way. “Hear now, ye rebels,” he cried; “must we fetch you water out of this rock?” and instead of speaking to the rock, as God had commanded him, he smote it twice with the rod.
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