“The first thing I’m going to do when I get to Heaven is ask God why He made the mistake of not letting Moses go in the Promised Land.”

I almost couldn’t believe what I’d just heard. The woman who said this honestly believed God was wrong when He punished Moses for his disobedience. As far as she was concerned, Moses had done so many good things during the 40 years he led Israel that the one time he sinned, it wasn’t such a big deal. The truth is, Moses’ sin had more significance than we might think.

The Israelites were tired of wandering in the desert. Before long, they started to complain because they had no water. Moses and Aaron went to God as they had done so many times before, and He showed them what to do next. They were to speak to a rock, and water would flow from it. Earlier, Moses had struck the rock to get water. This was a picture of Jesus’ one-time suffering on the cross. This time, Moses angrily hit the rock twice with his rod in front of the people. Aaron did nothing. God allowed the water to flow from the rock, but the disobedience and lack of faith of His leaders displeased Him. Obedience would have proven to the people Moses and Aaron believed God was righteous and would take care of them. By their disobedience, they gave Israel an excuse for unbelief and they ruined the picture of Christ. This is why they could not enter the Promised Land.

Our obedience in little things makes a big difference to God, even when everyone around us is doing wrong. This is one of the greatest tests of faith. It proves to others if we really believe God is right, all the time — in the classroom, the workplace, or at home in private. A little sin can go a long way. Choose to obey God in everything today.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder