The Death of Miriam; Moses and Aaron Sin (Numbers 20:1 – 13)

Scripture Text:

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Numbers 20:1 – 13

Questions:

1. When you’re in a difficult situation that feels like a repeat (only different), what do you do?

2. Read Exodus 17:1 – 7 (which recounts a nearly identical scene 40 years earlier). Compare what God told Moses to do then with what He tells him to do here. How do the two outcomes compare?

3. What is something you are very successful at? How might this success cause you to trust in yourself instead of in God?

4. What about Moses’ hard lesson (or your own “Meribah”) reminds you that you need God in your “40th year”, as well as your first year?

5. How do you explain Moses’ failure here following his earlier success?

  • if striking the rock once worked, it should work twice
  • Moses didn’t believe words alone would suffice
  • after 40 years, his pent-up anger spilled out (as well as the water)
  • Moses “choked”
  • one glitch is enough to get in trouble with God

Additional Comment: What a tragic end for Moses and Aaron. Moses was told he too would die before the Israelites crossed into the promised land. Aaron was with him in their sin and suffered the same punishment. Aaron dies at the close of this chapter.

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