Jesus as the Water from the Rock

11 Nov

water from the rock
Read Numbers 20
This event is to be set in contrast to Exodus 17:1-7, when God specifically told Moses to strike the rock, to provide water for the people. God provided this event as a type of our Lord Jesus Christ from whose sacrifice flows pardon, cleansing, eternal life and daily sustenance. This represented the stroke of God the Father on Jesus at Calvary. “The LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Isa. 53:6b That Rock is Christ (1 Cor. 10:4).
In this instance, the children of Israel complain yet again. They contend against Moses and Aaron, yet God sees it as contending against Him. (vs 13) Their complaint included longing for death with their brothers (probably referring to the rebellion of Korah in chapter 16). They forget God brought them out of Egypt, but instead say, “Why have you brought up the assembly of the LORD into this wilderness, that we and our animals should die here?” (vs 5)
They feel they were compelled. “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?” They forget they’re not in the Promised Land yet. And God had given them a foretaste of what is to come with the example of the fruit (grapes, pomegranates and figs) brought back by the spies. (Num. 13:23)
Moses and Aaron leave them and go to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, where the LORD usually meets with them. The door also signifying Christ, who is the Door through whom we access the Father. (John 10:9) They fall on their faces in humility. The glory of God appears to them (probably in the form of a cloud).
Although Moses is instructed to retrieve Aaron’s rod from before the Testimony (Num. 17:10), and go with Aaron before the congregation, he is specifically instructed to “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” (whom they were concerned about in verse 4). So far, so good.
Moses and Aaron gather the people together before the rock (still ok), but then instead of speaking to the rock as ordered, he reacts angrily, referring to the people as rebels, and saying, “Must we bring water for you out of this rock?” as if he and Aaron were responsible for the miraculous provision, instead of God.
Moses then strikes the rock twice, (oh-oh), water flows out of it, and they and their animal drink. God still provided for them. This also shows God’s concern for their animals as well as the people. The judgment from God is swift and the sentence is pronounced; to be carried out soon for Aaron, later for Moses.
“Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron” (both were guilty). “Because you did not believe Me to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you (both) shall not bring this assemble into the land which I have given them.” (Num. 20:12) This is the first and last time Moses is disciplined by God.
Aaron is further singled out just before he is brought up onto Mount Hor to die (vs. 25,26). The reason is the same, “Aaron shall be gathered to his people, for he shall not enter the land which I have given to the children of Israel, because you rebelled against My word, at the water of Meribah.” (Num. 20:24) God calls them the actual rebels, even though that was what they called the children of Israel.
Does this punishment seem harsh to you? Do you feel God ‘over-reacted’ to the situation? You would think that if you didn’t understand the reason God was giving this picture to us.
Christ, our Rock is not to be smitten again. His death was sufficient. He said, “It is finished” (accomplished). Speaking to the Rock is equivalent to prayer. We don’t re-sacrifice Him, as the Roman Catholics do in the mass. This resulted in Moses being shut out of Canaan/the Promised Land.
God was determined to give us these two pictures of faith. We first trust in the Rock smitten for us (Isa. 53:4, 1 Cor. 10:4) and then we approach Him by faith in prayer. Even though it would seem that Moses frustrated God’s plan to teach us this, we see by God’s response that the lesson will be taught regardless.
A further reason why Moses could not enter the Promised Land is because he represented the Law, and the law cannot inherit the promises of God. It had to be Joshua, who represented Yeshua/Jesus, who would bring His people into the Promised Land.
“For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17
“But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.” Rom. 7:6
“For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Rom.8:3,4
“Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.” Acts 13:38,39
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” Rom.10:4
Jesus is the Rock, and He is the Water from the Rock. In the book of Isaiah 55:1,2 prefigures the free offer of the gospel.
“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance.”
Jesus applies this to Himself and the Holy Spirit when he says, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me, and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. 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
“And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” Rev. 22:17
Jesus is the water of life. He provided a way for us to have this water when He, the Rock was smitten on the cross. Now that we have this living water in us, we speak to the Rock in prayer.

 

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