“Hear now you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?”

Numbers 20  - Printable Download

Numbers 20 - Printable Download


Opening Prayer Led by Group Facilitator


Psalm 81

Pray the Psalm together aloud, alternating verses between two sides.  When finished, share reflections on the Psalm as a group

1  Sing aloud to God our strength; shout for joy to the God of Jacob!

2  Raise a song, sound the timbrel, the sweet lyre with the harp.

3  Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our feast day.

4  For it is a statute for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob.

5  He made it a decree in Joseph, when he went out over the land of Egypt. I hear a voice I had not known:

6  “I relieved your shoulder of the burden; your hands were freed from the basket.

7  In distress you called, and I delivered you; I answered you in the secret place of thunder; I tested you at the waters of Mer′ibah.

8  Hear, O my people, while I admonish you! O Israel, if you would but listen to me!

9  There shall be no strange god among you; you shall not bow down to a foreign god.

10  I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.

11  “But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would have none of me.

12  So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels.

13  O that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways!

14  I would soon subdue their enemies, and turn my hand against their foes.

15  Those who hate the Lord would cringe toward him, and their fate would last for ever.

16  I would feed you with the finest of the wheat,  and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.

The Waters of Meribah

Numbers 20

1.       In Exodus 3 & 4, Moses objects four times to a direct command from the Lord and at that time the Lord displays great patience.  In Numbers 20, the Lord immediately enacts a severe punishment for Moses’ failure.  Why is the Lord’s reaction so different now?  What factors must a Patriarch use to determine how to react to dissent or disobedience from his children?

2.     How do Moses and Aaron fail to obey the Lord’s specific command?  In what relationships do you routinely fail to obey specific commands?  How clear are the commands you give to your children?

3.     How does Moses’ anger taint God’s generous blessing to the Israelites?  How have your own failings tainted the blessings that the Lord wants to provide for your children? 

4.     Moses must now lead his flock to the Promised Land knowing that he will never enter the Promised Land himself.  Who in your own life has heroically led or sacrificed for you knowing that there is no reward for them?  What lessons can you learn from them in leading your own family without reward?

5.     Is the king of Edom’s refusal for Israel to pass through his land just or unjust?  What major detours (just or unjust) have you encountered in accomplishing professional or personal goals?  What detours did your own father experience? How can you use your own personal detours to prepare your children for the detours they will face?

6.     Moses loses two siblings at a time when his leadership of his flock is desperately needed.   What is necessary for a Patriarch to fruitfully and effectively provide for the needs of his family while he also mourns personal tragedy?

Prayer Partners

Discuss with your prayer partner the success/failure of your previous resolution & offer a vocal prayer for one another.


Previous   SESSION  Exodus 33 The Command to Leave Sinai

Previous SESSION
Exodus 33
The Command to Leave Sinai

Next   SESSION  Numbers 27 The Daughters of Zelophehad

Numbers 27
The Daughters of Zelophehad



Banner Image: “Moses Draws Water from the Rock” by Francois Perrier [Public Domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible—Second Catholic Edition (Ignatius Edition) copyright © 2006 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.