Strike the Rock!
Scripture reading for January 25th: Exodus 16-18
You would think that God’s people would not grumble against Him! The Israelites had seen the miracles of the plagues in Egypt and been protected from their effects. They had been miraculously delivered from the death angel by the blood of the Passover lamb. They had seen the Lord lead them with a cloud of glory by day and fire by night. They experienced deliverance through the Red Sea and saw how Pharaoh and his army were drowned. They had been given loads of silver and gold before they left Egypt and saw God bring manna to feed them in the desert. Their clothes and shoes did not wear out and not one of them was sick or disabled! What they experienced of God’s presence and miraculous power would make most of us stand in awe!
Yet, after being fed with manna and traveling on to Rephidim, they found no water to drink. They first quarreled with Moses. (Exodus 17: 1-3) God’s leadership always takes flack when things don’t go as the people think it should. The people easily turn on leaders, but God looks at this differently. They are actually turning on Him! (Exodus 16:8) Moses asked them why they were putting the Lord to the test by quarreling with Him. They responded by blaming Moses for bringing them out into the desert to die of thirst! It is amazing how short-sighted and forgetful people can become. Miracles don’t instantly transform people into faith giants!
To help Mose through this situation, God gave him specific instructions. He told Moses to walk on ahead of the people and take some of the elders of Israel with him. He was to go to the rock at Horeb and God would stand before him there. Moses was to strike the rock and God would supply water for the people to drink! (Exodus 17:5-6) When Moses obeyed, water gushed out to satisfy the 2-3 million people, and their flocks and herds, as well!
The New Testament gives insight into this event. Paul taught that the spiritual rock that the Israelites drank from was Christ. (1st Corinthians 10:1-6) He was smitten for us to give us “Living Water”. He has walked ahead of us and taken God’s rod of judgment on sin! Drink today from the smitten Rock! The living water is flowing freely for all to drink!