Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. Numbers 20:11
Moses was at this point disobeying God who had told him to speak to the rock not strike it. Nevertheless, God blessed the community by providing water. It can be confusing when God blesses disobedience. In Jonah, we find the sailors who threw Jonah overboard had an encounter with God. An encounter they would not have had if Jonah had obeyed God and gone to Nineveh in the first place. “At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him” (Jonah 1:16).
How do we explain a God who blesses our disobedience? We see it in our day when a prominent Christian is exposed for being involved in immorality. Often it turns out that the situation has been going on for some time and during that same period people have been blessed by the person’s ministry. How do we explain that?
It speaks of the enormity of God’s grace, kindness and patience towards us. However, we’re told not to use the grace of God as a license for sin because if we do we deny Jesus is Lord of our lives. “They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord” (Jude 1:4). If we become involved in activities we know aren’t honouring to God we deny his presence in our lives even though God may still be blessing our ministry.
God didn’t allow Moses to lead the people into the promised land which reminds us not to take the grace of God for granted.