????? ????? Hello! This is God speaking: How do you like my little ?biblical trick-bag?? Ha ha Until God called Moses up to view the land of Canaan on top of Mt. Nebo, Moses evidently didn?t know he was counted amongst the ?stiff-necked? rebellious Israelites. Oh sure! He used that staff I gave him and he brought those erring children out of slavery in Egypt?after I nearly disemboweled them with all manner of plagues?even death, but he forgot the one who ?brung him to the dance? as you earthlings like to say: his fear of me: the great I AM.


????? ????? I know, I know, I can hear your whimpering and whinnying about the ?unfairness? of it all concerning my servant Moses being punished for just be human: expressing his frustration for the job at hand?which I gave him. Pilgrim! Get this through your thick-head: I don?t give two hoots and a holler about fairness! Righteous is what I long for. Yep, righteousness is all I need. More than a smidgen of awe and reverence will do me just fine. Moses and Aaron were faithful, nearly to a fault, but they failed me in that spiritual crisis moment: a demonstration of their faith in me before the entire nation of Israel. Just like my holy writ, my instructions are clear. I don?t stutter when I give instructions. My boy just ?cooked-his-own goose? when he decided to allow his impatience with his faithless crumbling charges to get the best of him, and he wanted to show them how much they should acknowledge his leadership, which I gave to him, by adding his own ?personal touch? that produced the miracle of water gushing out of a rock in the desert of Zin (Sin).


????? ????? Thirty-seven years ago, when my people first came out of Egypt, in the same spot, Moses had to trifle with these kids parents: Exodus 17. He struck the rock while camped at Rephidim, which he named Massah (means testing) Meribah (means quarreling), and stopped the venting about being left in the desert to die of thirst. He did good the first time; not so good the second time. Great leadership doesn?t allow for an improper model if the goal is to have the followers become like their leader. ?I said to speak to the rock.? No! Moses had to put his spin on my command: Struck it twice: Numbers 20. The elders of the nation knew I had told Moses to ?speak? to the rock. If their acknowledged leader didn?t have faith in me, how could I expect them to? If his choice of action caused me to ?lose face? before the nation, how could it be restored? You got it! Show all of the people who is in charge. A holy God can?t reward disobedience?can he? Besides, the taking of Canaan called for a new man with greater vigor and open to new visionary planning. No man lives forever. He did get to see the ?Promised Land?; he just didn?t get to walk in it.


??????? ????? Pilgrims, the answer to the blog question is you can?t expect accomplish this goal. It is impossible to demonstrate your type of unique merit that warrants God not meting out what he considers an appropriate punishment for sin?sin of any kind. Moses was denied the privilege of ushering his charges into the ?Promised Land? for his disobedience. What punishment would fit your crimes? Moses struck a rock?twice! Some of us have lied a thousand times! Achan and his entire family were destroyed for one lie! In case you haven?t noticed, it seems that God has a different take about sin and its consequences: man is often caviler; God is deadly serious: Jeremiah cries out :?the soul that sins shall die.?


??????????? Praise God! He loved us so much he sent an adequate ransom for us: Jesus Christ (fully man and fully divine), God?s only son. As with Moses and his loss of faith, God rescued all sinners who couldn?t lift one tiny finger to save one ?s self, or hold back one incident of one?s demonstration of a loss of faith in God?s works. If he hadn?t, we?d all be like Moses: miss entering the ?Promised Land: Heaven.


Until next time, Pilgrim, add your comment, ask your question.


Doctor Christian





About Ranny Grady

I was born in Herington, Ks. In 1940. I graduated from El Reno High School, El Reno, Ok. In 1958. I served four years in Uncle Sam?s military: I traveled halfway around the world, and was a member of the All Navy Basketball Team. I graduated from Phillips University, Enid, Ok. 1965 with a B.S. In History and Physical Ed. I was a teacher and a coach for a few years. I worked for Prentice Hall Publishing Company for seven years: sales and marketing and author promotion. I graduated from Cincinnati Bible College and Seminary with a M-Div in Theology in 1980. I?m listed in Who?s Who in American Universities and Colleges: 1980. I have been madly in love with the same girl: Denise, for 49 years. We have two sons and five grandchildren. I?m a retired minister, except for my Friday Nights Jail Ministry at the Wayne County Jail in Monticello, Ky. I have self-published two novels: LOU?S DIRTY DOZEN (2007/2009) and recently, THE ROOKIE (2011). My novels can be found in nearly 2000 libraries scattered across the Southeast, South, Midwest, Southwest, and a few places in the East. I put them there via ?cold-turkey? calls to librarians. You won?t find them in the Retail Market because this market rarely, if ever, accepts ?self-published? books.
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