Symbolization: Speak to the Rock

Original Entry Date 12/1/2015: There are two instances in the books of Moses where water is made to flow from a Rock. God’s purpose for this was to quench the thirst of His people, Israel, as well as give glory to His Name.
Let’s look at both passages, specifically examining the command God gives Moses for both occasions.

Then all the congregation of the children of Israel set out on their journey from the Wilderness of Sin, according to the commandment of the Lord, and camped in Rephidim; but there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people contended with Moses, and said, “Give us water, that we may drink.”

So Moses said to them, “Why do you contend with me? Why do you tempt the Lord?”

And the people thirsted there for water, and the people complained against Moses, and said, “Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?”

So Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me!”

And the Lord said to Moses, “Go on before the people, and take with you some of the elders of Israel. Also take in your hand your rod with which you struck the river, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.”

And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. So he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of the contention of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

Exodus 17:1-7 NKJV

Here we see the children of Israel in need of spiritual refreshment (symbolized by the lack of water and their intense thirst).

All throughout the Bible we read of instances such as this, where Israel so easily forgets the power in which God has already moved to provide for them. That is definitely something to remind ourselves of when we find ourselves lacking in faith.

Moses confides in God and is commanded to go before the people of Israel with the elders and his staff in hand. Moses was to go to the Rock in Horeb where God would meet him; He would be standing before Moses and the people on top of the rock in Horeb.
Moses was then to strike the rock once and water would flow freely from the Rock.

This is a picture of Christ (The Rock, God standing upon the Rock) and that by one blow of the Rod (Jesus crucifixion, He would only need to be “struck” once, meaning to die once) for the flow of Living Waters to run freely to His people.

37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
John 7:37-39 NKJV

Now lets read the 2nd instance where God provided water for His people from a Rock.

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.

Now there was no water for the congregation; so they gathered together against Moses and Aaron. And the people contended with Moses and spoke, saying: “If only we had died when our brethren died before the Lord! Why have you brought up the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness, that we and our animals should die here? And why have you made us come up out of Egypt, to bring us to this evil place? It is not a place of grain or figs or vines or pomegranates; nor is there any water to drink.” So Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and they [a]fell on their faces. And the glory of the Lord appeared to them.

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals.” 9 So Moses took the rod from before the Lord as He commanded him.

10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock; and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?” 11 Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank.

12 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”

13 This was the water of Meribah, because the children of Israel contended with the Lord, and He was hallowed among them.

Numbers 20:1-13 NKJV

Here is a second account of the children of Israel being in a land with no water (lacking spiritual refreshment) so they turn against Moses once again.

Gods commands to Moses are a bit different this time. Moses is commanded to, once again, take the staff and bring the people before the rock. But instead of hitting the rock God commands Moses to only SPEAK to the Rock and then the waters will flow freely .

Those commands go in one ear and out the other as Moses speaks to the people as if he is the one providing the water. He then smacks the Rock two times with the staff; the water flows freely but Moses made a huge mistake by not following Gods command.

This was to be another type of Christ, in that Moses was going to speak to the Rock and water would be provided. This was to typify how we can go to Christ and ask Him in prayer that in which we need and He will provide.

Striking the Rock twice was representative of those who lack faith in Christ Jesus and in the power of His resurrection. Jesus only needed to be “struck” once for the power of Holy Spirit (symbolized by the water) to flow freely.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:8-11 NKJV

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