But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” 13 Those were the waters of Meribah, because the sons of Israel contended with the Lord, and He proved Himself holy among them, (20:12-13).
It matters not man’s opinion; He is Holy. It matters not who believes it; He is Holy and He is to be treated as Holy.
We are called to a life of faith that both acknowledges and lives according to His truth: He is Holy. However, the LORD does not need anyone to stand up for Him, to witness for Him, to defend Him, or to verify His Holiness.
This phrase “He proved Himself holy” in Hebrew is actually translated from one verb meaning: “to be set apart, to be holy, to show oneself holy, to be treated as holy, to consecrate, to treat as holy, to declare holy or consecrated.”
When He proved Himself holy among them, He demonstrated or showed Himself as set apart or consecrated. He was not proving Himself because there was some proof of His Holiness lacking. When He Proved Himself Holy He simply manifested the reality of His Person and Nature.
As an example, we might say something like, “Mary proved herself so kind.” Mary was not trying to prove anything, she was simply being herself and we understood her kindness as truth through our firsthand experience.
When He proved Himself holy among them, Moses, Aaron and the Israelites understood His Holiness as absolute truth through their firsthand experience.
Consider Him Who Proved Himself Holy
We tend to view His Holiness as synonymous with His purity. While His purity is certainly a substantial element of His Holiness, there is so much more. He is Holy, wholly set apart, undeniably separate; nothing is comparable or rivals His purity, power, works, ways, words and thoughts. Every part of Holy God is separate, set apart, Holy.
Sadly, though the LORD had already Proven Himself Holy countless times, still His children would persist in unbelief… even Moses and Aaron.
Once again His Holiness manifests in their presence and there would be no second-guessing, arguing or competing against Him.
Numbers 20 reveals four distinct ways by which He Proved Himself Holy.
- He Proved Himself Holy by His Incomparable Glory
- Then Moses and Aaron came in from the presence of the assembly to the doorway of the tent of meeting and fell on their faces. Then the glory of the Lord appeared to them; 7 and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, (20:6-7).
- He Proved Himself Holy by His Perfect Word
- “Take the rod; and you and your brother Aaron assemble the congregation and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it may yield its water. You shall thus bring forth water for them out of the rock and let the congregation and their beasts drink” (20:8).
- He Proved Himself Holy by His Unparalleled Miracles
- So Moses took the rod from before the Lord, just as He had commanded him; 10 and Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly before the rock. And he said to them, “Listen now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?” 11 Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation and their beasts drank, (20:9-11).
- He Proved Himself Holy by His Faultless Discipline
- Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod… 12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them,” (20:11-12).
How do we respond to Him Who Proved Himself Holy?
In our limited, finite understanding we tend to view God through the lens of our human faculties and reasoning. Rather than accepting by faith He is unequivocally and completely Holy, we analyze Him under our puny microscopic rationale. I can’t get over why He even bothers at all proving or showing us anything about Himself when we so often refuse to believe what we have already seen.
Let us ask Him to open our eyes to see Him Who Proved Himself Holy, and by faith respond in worship, surrender and obedience.
- He Proved Himself Holy by His Incomparable Glory through Jesus.
- God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power, (Hebrews 1:1-3).
- He Proved Himself Holy by His Perfect Word, Jesus.
- In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God… 14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth, (John 1:1, 14).
- He Proved Himself Holy by His Unparalleled Miracles through Jesus.
- Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me,” (John 10:25).
- “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst…” (Acts 2:22).
- He Proved Himself Holy by His Faultless Discipline for those who have become His children through faith in Jesus.
- It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. 11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness, (Hebrew 12:7-11).
He Proved Himself Holy in the past, He Proves Himself Holy in our todays and will Prove Himself Holy in every tomorrow.
Let us pray as we see Him Who Proved Himself Holy we would bow in worship, commit to a life surrendered in joyful and reverent obedience, and that by faith, our lives would prove who we are in Him.