The Danger of Frustration (Numbers 20-21, Psalm 90)

He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” (Numbers 20:10)

Every person has a breaking point.  Regardless of who you are or how patient you seem, there’s someone in your life who is capable of pushing you so far that you finally lose it.  Moses experienced that moment at the most inopportune time, and it caused him to sin in a big way.

On at least six different occasions, the Israelites grumbled against God and Moses.  The complaints were not coming from small groups of people but large uprisings that came against their leadership.  It’s remarkable that Moses had the tenacity to pray for God’s mercy on the people rather than allowing God’s wrath to avenge the situation.  However, this last circumstance got the best of him in an unfortunate way.

Moses’ big sin is that he stole God’s glory.  Rather than trusting his heavenly Father to come to his defense, Moses proclaimed that he would be the one providing water from the rock.  The truth was that Moses was powerless except by the enabling of the Holy Spirit that empowered him to perform all of the miracles he performed.  Instead of attributing the miracle to God, he attributed the miracle to himself.  Perhaps Moses had gotten too big for his britches.

When we get frustrated, we face the temptation to believe that if we don’t fix the problem it won’t ever get fixed.  We take matters into our own hands rather than trusting our Father in heaven to see the need and to provide a solution for it in His time.

When you’re ready to explode out of frustration, take a moment to step away and to ask God to help you trust Him even more.  After all, your situation isn’t outside of His control.  In fact, it’s opportunity for Him to show just how big He is.

Father, I don’t want to allow my frustration to lead me to sin as Moses’ led him to do.  You are the One who is omnipotent; nothing is outside of Your control.  Remind me of that truth when I’m tempted to take matters into my own hands.  In the end, let me be willing to pass the glory on to You, so people will revel in the thought, “Look what a great God He is!”

About Seth

Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.


  1. Think I fall into the same problem as Moses sometimes, thinking that my hard work or good planning might allow something good to happen to me. While those things are important, God really is the one who makes it happen. I need to keep reminding myself of that daily. No such thing as a “self made” (fill in the blank).

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