And the glory of the LORD appeared to them, and the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water.”
…Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly…
And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in Me, to uphold Me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.” These are the waters of Meribah, where the people of Israel quarreled with the LORD, and through them He showed Himself holy. [Numbers 20:9-13]
[20:9-11] After years of constant service and unparalleled patience Moses fell at his strongest point (12:3 – meekness): (a) he spoke in anger; (b) he usurped the place of God, saying, “Shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” and (c) he acted violently, striking the rock twice, when God had told him only to speak to it. [20:12] God’s word of judgment is directed to both Moses and Aaron, for Aaron had accompanied Moses and was implicated in the rashness of his brother’s action. Their ministry was coming to an end. [study notes from the ESV Reformation Study Bible]
The account of Moses and Aaron losing their place of leadership is sobering and sad. Certainly results could be different on this side of the cross, but there is no guarantee of that. We must lead by God’s Word and direction alone, or we may miss out on our chance at leading at all. Stay faithful to the One who called you and placed you in leadership to begin with.