Numbers 20: 12 (NKJV) 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 congregation into the land which I have given them.”
The people of Israel were complaining about a lack of water and God told Moses and Aaron to take the leaders to a certain rock and “speak” to it, commanding it to give out water. But Moses and Aaron were angry. They were tired of the complaints and the issues and the threats from the people. Instead of obeying God, Moses struck the rock with his rod instead of just speaking to it – and while God did create the flow of water to care for the people, God was rightly angry with Moses for not doing things the way God had instructed him. Moses’ actions dishonored God and made it seem that God was answering to Moses instead of the other way round. God wasn’t going to let that go.
But why, we wonder, does God say “because you did not believe Me…?” That seems out of place. After all, how could they NOT believe when they had the honor of being able to hear God’s audible voice? Did they suddenly think they were having a hallucination? Not only that, after Moses hit the rock – the water still appeared, so how could they be unbelieving? Why does God say, “because you did not believe Me…?”
We can better understand this when we consider the fact that Satan certainly intelligently believes in the existence of God. God is no hallucination to the Devil. He doesn’t doubt God’s reality for a moment. In fact, Satan himself “believes” in the existence and power of God too. So what God is really teaching us here is that “belief” means OBEDIENCE. God is saying, “To believe in Me means to obey Me. Just saying you “believe” is meaningless if you do not do what I tell you to do.”There are so many people who say they believe in God yet do not do what He says in and with their lives. This means that they are really unbelievers from God’s perspective. If we say we believe in Jesus and do not do what He says we are lying – to ourselves, to God and to the people around us. To believe means to obey – and nothing less.