Many of us categorize sins, whether we intend to or not. There are the major sins—the really bad ones like murder that are clearly wrong. Thankfully, few of us are prone to commit these sins, so we are pretty safe from them.
Then there are the significant sins, like getting angry or lying. We know these are harmful, but we don’t see them on the same level as the major ones. These are the sins that trip us up. If it weren’t for these sins, we would be such good people.
Then there are the little sins, like jaywalking or taking some paper clips from work. We know these are wrong, but they are so innocent and do so little harm that we tend to excuse them. In fact, we often live as if these sins are not really sins—they don’t feel wrong to us.
Sound familiar? There’s a big problem with this though. While sins might have different consequences, the Bible teaches that all sins are serious because they are rebellion against a holy God. If all we ever did was jaywalk, God would be just to pour out His wrath on us.
If we approach Numbers 20 with a flawed categorization of sin, we will likely walk away from this passage confused. What did Moses do that was so wrong? All he did was hit a rock instead of speaking what God said, right? And for that, God would not allow Moses to enter the promised land. After all that Moses had been through, this was how his story would end?
But we must remember that all sin is rebellion against God and is therefore serious. Moses’ rebellion here is quite serious. Notice what Moses, with Aaron standing next to him, said just before striking the rock: “Must we bring water out of this rock for you?” Who was Moses crediting for the miracle that would transpire? Surely not God.
That water flowed from the rock even in Moses’ disobedience shows once more that God is a God of mercy and grace. But there is another way we see God’s mercy and grace in this account, only we need to turn to the Gospels to see it. God graciously allowed Moses to enter the land long after this generation had died off. At the Transfiguration (Matt. 17), Moses stood in the land—along with Elijah—and Jesus, the One who had come to provide living water to God’s people.
FAMILY TALKING POINTS
This is the big idea of how this week’s Bible story points to Jesus.
- Babies & Toddlers: Jesus always obeyed God.
- Younger Preschool: Moses disobeyed God, so he could not go into the promised land. God sent Jesus, who always obeyed God. When we trust in Jesus, He brings us into God’s kingdom forever.
- Older Preschool: Moses disobeyed God and did not enter the promised land. We disobey God when we sin. But God sent Jesus, who always obeyed God. When we trust in Jesus, He brings us into God’s kingdom forever.
- Kids: Moses disobeyed God and did not enter the promised land. We all have disobeyed God by sinning. But God gave us His Son, Jesus. Jesus always obeyed God. When we trust in Him, Jesus brings us into God’s kingdom forever.
BIG PICTURE QUESTION & ANSWER
This is an important biblical truth that your child will encounter each week of this unit.
- Younger Preschool: What is God like? There is no one like God. He is perfect, good, and loving.
- Older Preschool: What is God like? God is holy, good, and loving.
- Kids: What is God like? God is holy, good, and loving.
This is a Bible verse that relates to what your child will encounter each week of this unit.
- Babies & Toddlers: We praise God; He does wonderful things. — Exodus 15:11
- Younger Preschool: We praise the one true God. He does wonderful things. — Exodus 15:11
- Older Preschool: LORD, who is like you … glorious in holiness, revered with praises, performing wonders?— Exodus 15:11
- Kids: LORD, who is like you among the gods? Who is like you, glorious in holiness, revered with praises, performing wonders? — Exodus 15:11
** Next week: God Healed the People (Numbers 21)