In the first month the whole community of Israel arrived at the Desert of Zin. They stayed at Kadesh. Miriam died and was buried there.
The people didn’t have any water. So they gathered together to oppose Moses and Aaron.
They argued with Moses. They said, “We wish we had died when our people fell dead in front of the Lord.
Why did you bring the Lord’s people into this desert? We and our livestock will die here.
Why did you bring us up out of Egypt? Why did you bring us to this terrible place? It doesn’t have any grain or figs. It doesn’t have any grapes or pomegranates. There isn’t even any water for us to drink!”
Moses and Aaron left the people. They went to the entrance to the tent of meeting. There they fell with their faces to the ground. Then the glory of the Lord appeared to them.
The Lord said to Moses,
“Get your walking stick. You and your brother Aaron gather the people together. Then speak to that rock while everyone is watching. It will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community. Then they and their livestock can drink it.”
So Moses took the walking stick from the tent. He did just as the Lord had commanded him.
He and Aaron gathered the people together in front of the rock. Moses said to them, “Listen, you who refuse to obey! Do we have to bring water out of this rock for you?”
Then Moses raised his arm. He hit the rock twice with his walking stick. Water poured out. And the people and their livestock drank it.
But the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron. He said, “You did not trust in me enough to honor me. You did not honor me as the holy God in front of the Israelites. So you will not bring this community into the land I am giving them.”
Those were the waters of Meribah. That’s where the Israelites argued with the Lord. And that’s where he was proven to be holy among them.