My favorite radio program of all time was Paul Harvey, and his ‘Rest of the Story’ segments. It started during WWII as a news broadcast that also told an interesting story. He would withhold a key piece of information, such as the person’s identity, until the end and then conclude the broadcast with the famous tagline, ”….and now you know the rest of the story.”
We deal with difficult people everyday. But, most of the time we are only dealing with the part of their story they let us see. Wouldn’t it be nice to know the rest of the story? Wouldn’t it be nice to know what made them mad earlier in the day, before they got to us?
There is a story in the Bible, found in Numbers 20: 2-12, when the people complained to Moses about not having any water. God tells Moses to speak to the rock and God would cause water to come out of the rock and thus He would take care of the people. Moses responds to their complaint with anger and strikes the rock, disobeying what God had told him to do. God was faithful to bring the water but He told Moses that He would not enter the promise land because of what he did.
Every time I have ever heard this passage preached, the speaker says that God punished Moses for his disobedience. But, recently I heard a minister by the name of Dwayne Weehunt, from Keller, Texas, approach this story a little differently.
He said that God and Moses were friends. God spoke to His friend face to face, unlike anyone God ever related to. God said Moses was the most humble man alive. Dwayne then went on to say, “Have you ever noticed that this story picks up in verse two of the chapter, not verse one?” Could verse one have any impact on this story? Well, let’s look at verse one:
Numbers 20: 1 Then the children of Israel, the whole congregation, came into the Wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh; and Miriam died there and was buried there.
Moses sister just died. He doesn’t have time to grieve her and the people are complaining about water. Is it possible that Moses was not disobedient out of anger but out of grief? And, isn’t it possible that God was not punishing Moses because of disobedience, but was pulling him out of leadership (ministry) because he didn’t like the toll it was taking on His friend Moses. Could it be that God hated what was happening to His friend and couldn’t stand the destruction of his heart? And, now you might know… the rest of the story.
You can’t help but look at the story differently after you’ve read verse one. Everybody has a verse one. If we kept that in mind, maybe we would all show a little more grace with people’s bad behavior and a lot more interest in knowing the rest of their story. For more on this subject go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjpzQS7Y0i0