In Ps 106:32-33 we read that “They angered him.” This is a reference to Num 20:1-13 where Israel chided with Moses because they had no water to drink.
They provoked his spirit – Ps 106:33. To provoke is defined to arouse or to incite to anger. Up till now, they had chided with Moses eight times. This was the ninth time. Each time he fell on his face, prayed, interceded for them, received instructions and followed the instructions God gave him. He had to rule his own spirit to keep from taking their chiding personally and to keep from getting angry [Prov 25:28]. But this time, he let them get to him.
He spake unadvisedly with his lips – Ps 106:33. Unadvisedly is defined as done with unadvised haste; done without due consideration: rash. What Moses said is found in Num 20:10. He called the Jews rebels, which is true [Num 17:10]. But when he was angered, he couldn’t see that he was also rebellious [Num 27:14. When you are angry, you can see the problem in others but you can’t see it in yourself.
He said, “Must we fetch you water.” Fetch is defined “to give by striking.” That’s what he initially did in Exodus 17:6. But that’s not what he was told to do. He was told to speak unto the rock [Num 20:8]. Here’s what went wrong. He spoke to the people, when he should’ve spoken to the rock. The rock was Jesus [1 Cor 10:4]. When you are in a situation like this, speak to the Lord not to the person.
Moses smote the rock – Num 20:11. When you get angry you take matters into your own hands and no longer trust the Lord to handle the problem. You are supposed to trust the Lord [Prov 3:5-6]. Moses and Aaron and didn’t believe God. Anger distorts faith in God’s words. If Moses had spoken to the rock, God would have given them water.
When you get mad, you usually strike at something that’s innocent. Moses struck the rock. Some tennis players get mad and break their rackets. The racket is not at fault. You’re the problem! Likewise, innocent people in the vicinity get hurt with your anger. God wanted to give Israel water.
When Moses struck the rock he destroyed a type. The first time he smote the rock pictured the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ. The second time, he was supposed to speak to the rock, which is what we do when we call upon the Lord to be saved [Rom 10:13]. Christ suffered for sins only once.
It’s probable that Moses smote the rock and nothing happened, so he smote it a second time and God gave the water. You can imagine a pause between the two strikes, causing Moses to reflect on the fact that he had messed up.
He didn’t sanctify God – Num 20:12. God would have received great glory by giving them water out of the rock by just speaking to it. There’s great glory when you see God intervene in tough situations by just speaking to him in prayer. But it went ill with Moses [Ps 106:32]. He was not allowed to enter the promised land. Anger costs you dearly in the end.
God was angry with Moses – Deut 1:37. James tells us that the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God [Jas 1:20]. God has something he’s trying to do and your anger will interfere with his work of righteousness.
Conclusion: By the ninth time Israel chided with him, Moses was worn down. He let his anger get the best of him. You can’t do that. Learn from what you’ve seen in this lesson and don’t let your anger get the best of you. You won’t like the price or the results.