Have you ever done something in anger you later regretted? When my son was wrestling with drug addiction, I said some harsh things in reaction to his choices. My anger only discouraged him more. But eventually he encountered believers who spoke life and hope to him, and in time he was set free.
Even someone as exemplary in faith as Moses did something he later regretted. When the people of Israel were in the desert and water was scarce, they complained bitterly. So God gave Moses and Aaron specific instructions: “Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water” (Numbers 20:8). But Moses reacted in anger, giving himself and Aaron credit for the miracle instead of God: “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” (v. 10). Then he disobeyed God directly and “raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff” (v. 11).
Even though water flowed, there were tragic consequences. Neither Moses nor Aaron was allowed to enter the land God promised His people. But He was still merciful, allowing Moses to see it from afar (27:12–13).
As with Moses, God still mercifully meets us in the desert of our disobedience to Him. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, He kindly offers us forgiveness and hope. No matter where we’ve been or what we’ve done, if we turn to Him, He’ll lead us into life.