On that occasion Moses sought God’s direction, and responded exactly as God prescribed. He struck the rock with one blow from his staff and the water began to flow. The people and flocks were hydrated. All was well. In the passage for today, however, Moses was presented with another virtually identical difficult situation. Unfortunately, on this occasion Moses responded inappropriately. He let his frustration and anger get the best of him. For that sin, Moses would pay dearly.
Moses was sad, tired, and extremely frustrated. Furthermore, his brother Aaron was not well (he would also die that year). Yet in the midst of trying circumstances the brothers Moses and Aaron did the right thing. They implored God for direction. God ordered Moses to “speak to the rock;” however, when the time came for action, Moses doubly erred. He angrily struck the rock, not once, but twice. Although the needed waters came, Moses would not be granted the privilege of leading the Hebrews into the Promised Land. Uncontrolled anger often comes at a regretful price.