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When Anger is Lethal

by Nellie Shani  
10/15/2011 / Christian Living

I believe that to accomplish the purpose for our life is the ardent desire of every child of God. What caused this great man of God to fail? He is recorded in the Bible as the most humble man on the face of the earth (Numbers 12:3).

When his siblings Aaron and Miriam opposed Moses' leadership, God gave one of the most glowing testimonies that God has ever given about a man. Listen to God describing Moses. " . . . When a prophet of the Lord is among you. I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of God . . ." (Numbers 12:6-8).

In Exodus 33:11 something else is added to the fact that God spoke to Moses face to face. It says the Lord would speak to Moses face to face as a man speaks with his friend. How is it possible that a man who was that close to God still failed to take the children of Israel into Canaan? There was a heart-rending verbal exchange that Moses had with God after God told him that he and Aaron would not enter Canaan. This conversation showed how desperately Moses wanted to go into the Promised Land.

We are told that Moses pleaded with the Lord. "At that time I pleaded with the Lord: ''O Sovereign Lord, you have began to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what God is there who can do the deeds and mighty works you do? Let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan-that fine hill country and Lebanon." (Deuteronomy 3:23-25). Moses was trying to get God to change his mind and let him go into Canaan.

God's response must have cut Moses like a hot knife slicing through butter! " . . .'That is enough,' the Lord said, 'Do not speak to me anymore about this matter. Go up to the top of Pisgah and look west and north and south and east. Look at the land with your own eyes, since you are not going to cross this Jordan' " (Deuteronomy 3:26-27). God closed the matter and put a big full stop after it!

There was an invisible barrier that dogged Moses, and manifested at very crucial points in his life. It manifested when he killed the Egyptian, when he broke the Ten Commandments, and when he struck the rock twice instead of speaking to it. It was the spirit of anger. Unknown to Moses this spirit is the one that blocked his entry into the Promised Land, and kept him from fulfilling the purpose that God had for him.

Moses did not understand this however. He thought that his problem was the stubborn Israelites. We hear Moses complaining, "But because of you the Lord was angry with me and would not listen to me . . ." (Deuteronomy 3:26). Was it really the Israelites that made him strike the rock twice? Although Moses could not control the how the Israelites acted, he alone was responsible for the way he reacted. We can never fall back on "He made me do it." The truth of the matter is that the only person who can make me do it is me! That is why two people going through the very same circumstances will react in two totally different ways. It is like a husband saying, "I hit my wife because she made me angry." Not every man hits his wife when he is angry.

The one who hits his wife has a problem with the spirit of anger, the same way that Moses did. James warns us in James 1:19, " . . . Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires."

Nellie Odhuno Shani is a Counselor, Conference speaker and writer. Her first books are available on, Barnes and Nobles and on her author's websites.

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