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From Eternity Past

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    Why the Sin of Moses and Aaron Must Be Punished

    “The Lord was wroth with me for your sakes,” said Moses. The transgression was known to the whole congregation. Had it been passed by lightly, the impression would have been given that impatience under great provocation might be excused in those in responsible positions. But when because of that one sin Moses and Aaron were not to enter Canaan, the people knew that God is no respecter of persons.EP 293.1

    Men of all future time must see the God of heaven as impartial, in no case justifying sin. God's goodness and love engage Him to deal with sin as an evil fatal to the peace and happiness of the universe.EP 293.2

    God had forgiven the people greater transgressions, but He could not deal with sin in the leaders as in those who were led. He had honored Moses above every other man upon the earth. The fact that he had enjoyed so great light and knowledge made his sin more grievous. Past faithfulness will not atone for one wrong act. The greater the light and privileges granted to man, the more aggravated his failure and the heavier his punishment.EP 293.3

    Moses’ sin was one of common occurrence. The psalmist says that “he spake unadvisedly with his lips.” Psalm 106:33. To human judgment this may seem a light thing, but if God dealt so severely with this sin in His most faithful and honored servant, He will not excuse it in others. The spirit of self-exaltation, the disposition to censure our brethren, is displeasing to God. The more important one's position, the greater the necessity that he cultivate patience and humility.EP 293.4

    If those who stand in positions of responsibility take to themselves the glory that is due to God, Satan has gained a victory. There is not an impulse of our nature or an inclination of the heart, but needs to be, moment by moment, under the control of the Spirit of God. Therefore however great one's light, however much he may enjoy divine favor, he should ever walk humbly before the Lord, pleading in faith that God will control every impulse.EP 294.1

    The burdens placed upon Moses were very great. Few men will ever be so severely tried as he was. Yet this was not allowed to excuse his sin. However great the pressure brought upon the soul, transgression is our own act. It is not in the power of earth or hell to compel anyone to do evil. However severe or unexpected the assault, God has provided help for us, and in His strength we may conquer.EP 294.2

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