Today's Favorite Verse: Numbers 20:8, 11-12
"Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts to drink.
And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.
And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
This appears to be the second time Moses smote a rock with a rod and water gushed forth. The first time in Exodus 17 the Lord told him to smite the rock. This second time he was told to speak to the rock. Moses disobeyed the Lord and instead of speaking to the rock he smote it with his rod. For this Moses and Aaron could not enter into the promised land. Not only that, but Aaron is stripped of his garments and priesthood and they are given to his son Eleazar. Then Aaron dies.
I sat and pondered on how even though Moses and Aaron disobeyed, a miracle still happened. Water still gushed from the rock. They did exactly what the Lord had told them in an earlier situation to do. But, they were disobedient in doing what the Lord commanded them now to do. As I was searching the scriptures I saw a lot of references to Moses hitting the rock and water coming forth. Why was this instant so different and caused Aaron to die?
Then my eyes were opened, and this is what I came to understand. The Lord wished to bless his people with water to preserve their lives. He wanted them to receive living waters. Even if the vehicle through which the blessings comes is disobedient or unworthy, those that are on the receiving end are not denied their blessing. If someone performs an ordinance unworthily, having sinned, but still held the keys, it does not mean the ordinance is void. If the priest that blesses the sacrament in church is unworthy to do so, I will not be denied the blessing of having taken it. I will receive the living waters. The person that answers for it, is the one who was disobedient, and performed the ordinance unworthily. Amen to the priesthood of that man. In pondering all this I see how merciful the Lord truly is.