magaretnahmias

Moses and the danger of anger


Ironically Moses considered his speech a weakness. To me, his weakness was the impulsive anger that led him to kill the Egyptian that beat up the Hebrew.  Being impatiently confrontational is not the same as being a leader. Prudence and calmness under pressure are also essential. When you are outraged, you have none of these.  Unfortunately, he never got rid of his temper. His anger and frustration with the people came out of misplaced expectations.  He failed to comprehend the enslaved mindset that came with 4 centuries of slavery since he lived most of his life in freedom.  Even God understood the people to overcome that mindset gradually when he led them a slightly longer way towards the promised land instead of the shorter but more dangerous three-day journey.     Their disobedience and unbelief were frustrating to Moses.   It did not make sense despite what they had left.  However, just like the fear of the unknown caused him to doubt his ability, it also caused the people to question


Eventually, his anger costs  his position in Number 20:9-12

9 So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence, just as he commanded him. 10 He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” 11 Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”(NIV)

TO his credit, Moses accepts his fate and continues on. However, he only sees the promised land from afar on and eventually dies in  Numbers 27:12-14

12 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go up this mountain in the Abarim Range and see the land I have given the Israelites. 13 After you have seen it, you too will be gathered to your people, as your brother Aaron was, 14 for when the community rebelled at the waters in the Desert of Zin, both of you disobeyed my command to honor me as holy before their eyes.” (These were the waters of Meribah Kadesh, in the Desert of Zin.)   (NIV)

 He is an example of what happens when we ignore David's warning not to worry about evil in Psalm 37:7-8.

Be still before the Lordand wait patiently for him;do not fret when people succeed in their ways when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.(NIV)

We take things into our hands and act in undesirable ways  as a result.   For example, When emotion overtakes me, I quench the spirit. Like my pastor also said, we cannot change the world until we allow God to change us. T

This is a warning to me about anger's consequences. It makes me think about what I forfeit when I indulge in rage. This teaches me that  I need to manage my expectation about the world so I don't get frustrated.  Moses' anger problem is an example of James'  statement below.

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