Today reading from Numbers 19 – 21.
There are several great points for us to consider from these three chapters. The hearts of the surrounding people to Israel as they journey, and most of it due to fear and disrespect. Moses told, by GOD, to speak to the rock, and then, he strikes it instead. Finally the placement of the “serpent on a pole” for their healing from snake bite, because of their sinning in complaints.
We will take a moment and focus these observations on the Rock.
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, ‘Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.’ And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as He commanded him. And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.” Numbers 20:7-11 (KJV)
In Exodus 17 we find the first time the people are thirsty in the wilderness and their experience with the rock. In that chapter of the Exodus Moses is commanded to strike the rock, and Moses obeys; then, comes forth cool refreshing water for the multitude of people.
In this case above the people are complaining about not having water; and remember this is after seeing God provide water previous to this. Verse four says, “Why have ye brought up the congregation of the LORD into the wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there?” My how short their memories are. My, how short our memories are as well. We can be surrounded by God’s grace, mercy, sustenance, and every need being met and still complain.
The apostle Paul tells us that this rock was following them in the wilderness…
“And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” 1 Corinthians 10:4
“For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them…” Can it be anymore clear than that? Paul continues, “…that Rock was Christ”. Who was with Israel in the wilderness? Jesus the Christ of God.
It does not seem that we should even try and understand why Moses struck the rock; but we must remember the consequences of his disobedience. Because he did this rebellious deed, now Moses will not enter the Promised Land.
It may have been anger that caused him to strike it. He was disobedient. It could have been he didn’t fully hear God’s statement. He was disobedient. It could have even been because he was “only human”. He was disobedient. Moses could not go into the Promised Land, and he did not.
That Rock was Christ.
Remember to read Numbers 19 – 21.
-Tim A. Blankenship