December 7, 2023
Picture: The Rock
Numbers 20:2-11; 1 Corinthians 10:1-4
Moses was grief stricken. Not only had his entire generation been condemned to wander the desert for their disobedience at the precipice of the promised land, but now his sister Miriam had died. The woman who was responsible for saving his life had lost hers on the journey he was leading. But mourning would not be a luxury afforded to Moses. The suffocating heat had created a desperate crisis among the people. There was no water and the oppressive heat had melted the patience of even his most ardent supporters. Out of cracked lips the people hurled suspicion and conspiracies. Moses and Aaron immediately turned to the Tabernacle to meet with the Lord. As they bowed before Him, they were met with the wisdom and provision they needed.
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.” So Moses took the rod from before the Lord as He commanded him.
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?” 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.
Numbers 20:2-11 (NKJV)
In a land with no options, God used a rock to provide water, saving the life of His people. It was rabbinical tradition that this same rock followed the people of Israel and was a continual source of the water they would need. As the Apostle Paul writes to the church in the pagan city of Corinth, he begs them to forsake their old ways of thinking about worship, sacrifices and Idols becoming holy people of God. Paul uses that moment in Israel’s history as a reference point.
Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.
1 Corinthians 10:1-4 (NKJV)
Paul helps us understand that Jesus is a continual source of salvation. Not only is Jesus the rock, but he is the living water himself (John 4). Regardless of our state, whether ragged, grief stricken, or pushed to our breaking point, Jesus is our continual source of salvation. At Christmas, the coming of Jesus meant access to a living breathing conduit of grace for a desperate people crumbling under the reality of their sin.