Num 20:12-13 – And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.” These are the waters of Meribah, where the people of Israel quarreled with the Lord, and through them he showed himself holy. ESV
Moses is the biggest figure found in the Jewish scriptures, which we know as the Old Testament. He was the baby placed into the Nile, the Prince of Egypt, a murderer, a runaway and he was also the person chosen by God to lead the people out of slavery and into the promised-land.
In this passage (Num 20:2-13) the Israelites had arrived at Meribah, they had run out of water, and as there were likely over a million people, this was a significant problem. Moses, who had witnessed God’s amazing power, seen His ability to rescue His people, and experienced His provision, got angry with Him, and fell into disrespect and unbelief. Because of this God told Moses that he would not be allowed to bring the people into the promised-land. Notice that God had no problem with Moses being angry. The problem is that Moses, who had experienced so much with God, fell into internal unbelief with the outward result that he did not uphold God as the Holy One of Israel.
Isn’t that like us in Christian recovery? We see God’s power working in our lives, and the lives of those who journey through a spiritual wilderness with us. We come to our own Meribah, a place where we feel stuck and spiritually dry. We might even get angry with God, and we might also slide into internal unbelief that God is working in us, and make ourselves vulnerable to disrespectful or even contemptuous outward behaviors toward God.