Friday, October 16, 2009

Life-Giving Water From the Rock!

Have you ever wondered how much water flowed from the rock in the wilderness to quench Israel's thirst?

Remember this story? God poured out his plagues on Egypt and brought his people out by the blood of the Passover Lamb; He parted the Red Sea and brought them safely across; He began to lead them to Mt. Sinai to receive his awesome Law. And on the way, the people were thirsty. No water! So God told Moses:

"Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink." And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. Exodus 17:6, ESV

Would you hit a rock if God was standing on it? You would if God told you to. This close connection between the rock and God (he was standing on it) has led some interpreters to see this as almost a command for Moses to strike God himself, "with the result that God himself is the source of the life-giving water that flowed from the rock" (ESV Study Bible notes). What a picture of Christ being "hit" for us at the cross, and saving, cleansing water for the thirsty pouring out of his sacrifice! The Apostle Paul even says, "the rock was Jesus" (1 Cor 10:4).

Back to my original question. How much water flowed out of this rock in the wilderness? Exodus does not tell us. We are told only that "Moses did so." Have you always had a mental picture of a little water trickling down, like a water fountain? Or maybe like an overflowing well, where each person could come and hold out a cup to be filled, one at a time?

But this was a multitude of people! Exodus 12:37-38 tells us there were "about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. A mixed multitude also went up with them, and very much livestock, both flocks and herds." Wow! How much water would it have taken to quench the thirst of around 1 million people or more, and give their flocks and herds plenty of water as well? This is a lot of water!

The Psalms shed more light on this:

"He split rocks in the wilderness and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep. He made streams come out of the rock and caused waters to flow down like rivers." Psalm 78:15-16

"He opened the rock, and water gushed out; it flowed through the desert like a river." Psalm 105:41

Praise God! What a supply! What a miraculous, plentiful provision to the covenant people of God. He made a river of life-giving water for his people.

And what a glorious picture of the overflowing, bountiful water of life that flows from the crucified Son of God, Jesus Christ! Hallelujah!

"But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water." John 19:34

"Jesus said to her, 'Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.' John 4:13-14

"...Jesus stood up and cried out, 'If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 'Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'" John 7:37

"The Spirit and the Bride say, 'Come.' And let the one who hears say, 'Come.' And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price." Revelation 22:17

Take a moment right now, and look to Jesus Christ, the Rock who gives living water to all who believe in him! "The river of God is full of water" (Psalm 65:9). There is enough for you. Drink deeply!

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