But EVERY SINGLE TIME, Moses does his own thing!
Okay. Major problems here. I think he did this about 5 or six times. G-d told him to raise his staff, he raises his hand - G-d says to raise his hand, Moses raises his staff.
What's more problematic is that G-d doesn't say anything to the effect of "Moses. If you don't do what I say, we're gonna have problems." We know nothing is superfluous in the Torah. So WHY IS THIS!?
1. Why does he do his own thing in the first place.
2. Why isn't he rebuked.
3. (And perhaps most importantly) Why can't we find any commentary on this fact!?
Was his hitting of the rock much later, the "straw that broke the camel's back?" At least there's some history of rebellion that G-d can point to. What's odd is that G-d doesn't, and neither do the commentators. (That we know of.)