Reading through the Bible together
Leadership magnifies what we do because others follow us. After Sinai, the people had asked Moses to speak for God because they could not endure God's presence directly. This was a great responsibility for Moses. In this case, he failed to reflect the character of God to the people as he should have. He was angry with them, magnifying their failures and destroying the lesson of mercy and love God wanted to communicate in that instance. It is a warning to all leaders that we must never yield to the temptation of acting unseemly to those we lead.
In a very real sense, all of us are leading those around us. They know Who we represent. For some people, we are the only evidence they have about what God is like. So the lesson is for all believers.
The punishment was that Moses and Aaron would not lead Israel into the promised land. First lessons are important, and it was necessary that the peoples’ entrance into this new land not be tainted by leadership that had so recently misrepresented God and His way with mankind.
Have you been indulging in behavior that confuses other people about God? As the song says, “let the world see Jesus in you.”
Professor of Computing
Southern Adventist University