Moses strikes the Rock
So I know that some of you may have already heard this teaching before on when Moses strikes the rock a second time in the wilderness, but I wanted to give you my persepective on it. I feel I learned some interesting things that will provide some more insight into this whole event, and how we can learn from it. So let’s get started.
The people thus contended with Moses and spoke, saying, “If only we had perished when our brothers perished before the Lord ! Why then have you brought the Lord ’ s assembly into this wilderness, for us and our beasts to die here? Why have you made us come up from Egypt, to bring us in to this wretched place? It is not a place of grain or figs or vines or pomegranates, nor is there water to drink.”Numbers 20:3-5 NASB
So once again, the Israelites are complaining. And not only that, but they are saying that it would be better to go back to Egypt and that this is not what Moses promised them. Of course this is after they decided not to go into the promised land out of fear. So they know what they are saying when they tell Moses that this isn’t the land that they were promised. They are putting the blame back on him. Anyways, they are complaining about how they don’t have any water to drink. So Moses goes to the Lord for an answer.
“Take the rod; and you and your brother Aaron assemble the congregation and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it may yield its water. You shall thus bring forth water for them out of the rock and let the congregation and their beasts drink.”Numbers 20:8 NASB
So the Lord commanded Moses to speak to the rock that it may bring forth water. Now this scenario had happened before when Moses was told to strike the rock that it may bring forth water.
So Moses took the rod from before the Lord , just as He had commanded him; and Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly before the rock. And he said to them, “Listen now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?” Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation and their beasts drank.Numbers 20:9-11 NASB
So the basic teaching on this is that it is a image of Christ, where as at first the rock had to be struck to produce water, and now we just have to speak to the rock. And this truly is a profound teaching, as we too are wandering the desert looking for the water from the Lord, which is the salvation of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. But I want to look into the words that were spoken to Moses after he made his mistake.
But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”Numbers 20:12 NASB
So let’s see what the Lord says to Moses. He says that Moses didn’t treat Him as holy before the sons of Israel. How exactly did he do that? Was it because Moses disobeyed God before them? Maybe, but the Israelites didn’t hear the commandment that was given to Moses, so they wouldn’t have know that Moses had disobeyed. Maybe it was because Moses didn’t give credit to the Lord before the children of Israel. And that could be the case, but I wanted to also look at the idea that when the Lord is saying that Moses didn’t treat Him as holy, He may be referring to the rock. And this is because the Lord is symbolically the rock in this scenario. Just as Jesus calls himself the rock.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.Matthew 7:24 NASB
For who is God, besides the Lord ? And who is a rock, besides our God?2 Samuel 22:32 NASB
Now the other thing that was said to Moses was that he didn’t believe in the Lord. So part of the reason why he may have struck the rock was he himself didn’t believe that just speaking to the rock could bring forth the water. Maybe it was because he was scared of the Israelites and wanted to appease them, or maybe it was just a weak moment for Moses. I don’t know why Moses didn’t believe in that moment. But it brings up an interesting point and some lessons we can learn. One, is that we are to speak to the rock to recieve the water. It doesn’t have to do with our actions but rather with our words. Second, it is our belief that restricts us. If Moses would have spoken to the rock, he would have still been able to enter into the promised land. But because of disbelief, he wanted to receive water a different way, his way. So we have to keep that in mind when we consider why we don’t receive. Are we not speaking to the rock because of disbelief? Do we not ask out of fear it won’t be answered? And do we decide to go about our own way to receive the water, instead of the way that God commanded? I challenge you today to speak to the Rock, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He is the one that will provide for you. Don’t be like Moses in his weakness and try your own way. Believe in God and do as He says.
And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen.Matthew 21:21 NASB
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