Moses and Aaron went to the entrance to the sacred tent, where they bowed down. The LORD appeared to them in all of his glory and said, "Moses, get your walking stick. Then you and Aaron call the people together and command that rock to give you water. That's how you will provide water for the people of Israel and their livestock." Moses obeyed and took his stick from the sacred tent. After he and Aaron had gathered the people around the rock, he said, "Look, you rebellious people, and you will see water flow from this rock!"
He raised his stick in the air and struck the rock two times. At once, water gushed from the rock, and the people and their livestock had water to drink. But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you refused to believe in my power, these people did not respect me. And so, you will not be the ones to lead them into the land I have promised."
Numbers 20: 6 - 12
This was the second time that God provided water from a rock to keep the people from dying of thirst. The first time God instructed Moses to strike the rock and Moses obeyed. But now God only told Moses to speak to the rock and instead Moses struck the rock. The consequence for Moses was that he lost the opportunity to lead the people into the Promised Land.
This story is filled with important teachings about our walk with God and our obedience, but it is certainly significant to note the difference between a principle and a command! Moses may have thought that since God told him to strike the rock the first time, that striking the rock is what he should always do in situation like this. But God was giving a specific command, not establishing a principle!
That is why we should always ask for and listen for wisdom from God about every situation and not simply move ahead because of what we heard God say previously in a similar circumstance!
There are spiritual principles that should guide our actions, but when God speaks, know that you must always be obedient to the voice of God!
“Lord Jesus, speak to my heart with Your Word for today! Thank You that following You is not just going by a set of principles, but it is hearing You and obeying You in everything! Praise Your Name forever. Amen.”