Friday, January 7, 2011

Silence Denotes Agreement

Numbers 20:12 Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them."

Moses and Aaron, two guys who spent a whole mess of time together. Brothers, both representing the Lord in the ministry that was leading the children of Israel. So what happened when Moses struck the rock twice instead of speaking to it? Why were both Moses and Aaron disallowed? I mean I can see why Moses would be, after all he was the one who struck the rock.

Notice though in verse 12 that Aaron was punished as well, why? Reminds me of something a creative writing teacher of mine used to tell us whenever we would practice for mock-debates in class: "Silence denotes agreement." Where was Aaron's voice throughout chapter 20? Why didn't Aaron speak out against Moses and remind him "Hey bud, this isn't how God told us to do it!" Iron is supposed to sharpen iron and as Moses' brother, Aaron should have been there to speak against Moses on the way he was going about the whole thing, not to mention Aaron was high priest!

1 Tim 5:20 tells us that when an elder is in the wrong, it is best we correct them, and in public, lest some be misguided and in the same way Aaron should have said something to Moses. But he didn't and this cost him. James 4:17 says "Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin," and because sin is sin in God's eyes, Aaron was at fault just as much as Moses.

Moses blatantly misrepresented God, it was a conscious decision in his head most likely fueled by anger and frustration. Where God told him to love the people, Moses chose anger and gave into his frustration. Where God told Aaron to be Moses' speaker, Aaron chose silence and did nothing to correct or guide Moses.

So my question then is how often do we do the same? Whether consciously or unconsciously, how often do we misrepresent God in todays world? The bible calls us to be ambassadors for Him, however, how often (and I hate that this is true of myself) do we neglect those around us? We were as Paul says "trusted with this glorious gospel" and yet so many of us live as though we have nothing to share with the world, when in reality, we have THE good news.

What about when we see a brother or sister living like a fool, do we take time to pray for them and ask God to open the door to approach them or do we enjoy our own security and just watch as they are burned? I have a heart for this because I was that fool at one point in my life (sometimes still feel like him). James 5:19-20 exhorts us to turn a brother from sin and with it comes a promise:

19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

So think about it, next time you see a brother or sister doing or saying something foolish, don't be so slow to pray and talk to them. Just be sure to do it in love. We all need to be less consumed with ourselves and more with Christ, that should then produce a love for others. This doesn't happen overnight, however, the more you show love, even when you don't want to, the more you'll enjoy it. And if you're in the face of someone who isn't a Christian, then love is a must! Remember that "Of 100 men, 1 reads the bible, the other 99 read the Christian" - DL Moody.

"Love is first a commitment, then a feeling" - Tim Keller

"Could a mariner sit idle if he heard the drowning cry? Could a doctor sit in comfort and just let his patients die? Could a fireman sit idle, let men burn and give no hand? Can you sit at ease in Zion with the world around you DAMNED?" - Leonard Ravenhill

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