When the Israelites got thirsty after a long journey, God said to Moses:
‘…Go on before the people, and take with you of the elders of Israel; and your rod, with which you smote the river, take in your hand, and go…’ (Exodus 17:5)
Now, it will be nice if you don’t miss some basic details that occurred here. First, Moses must take some ELDERS along to where he is going so that they can witness what was going to happen. Second, take note of the ROD God told Moses to take along. It was the ROD OF JUDGMENT with which he struck river Nile and drowned the host of Egypt! Have you gotten that? Now, see the next verse:
‘…Behold, I WILL STAND before you there UPON THE ROCK in Horeb; and you shall STRIKE THE ROCK, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink…’ (Exodus 17:6)
Oh… Whenever I read that verse, I feel some virtual ‘goose pimples’ all over my body! The Lord is going to ‘stand upon’ the Rock….and Moses will use his Rod of Judgment to STRIKE the Rock! Wow!
The book of 1st Corinthians tell us clearly that this ‘…Rock was CHRIST’! (1Cor 10:4) Can you see something here? The striking of the Rock WITH THE Rod of Judgment was a clear display of the CRUCIFIXION OF JESUS ON THE CROSS!
In the case of Moses, it was witnessed by the ELDERS OF ISREAL! In the New Testament actual scenario, it was witnessed by the HOLYSPIRIT!
‘…For by one offering he has perfected forever them that are sanctified…The HOLY SPIRIT also is A WITNESS to us…’ (Hebrews 10:14-15)
This was why there was 3hours or darkness while Jesus was on the cross! (Mark 15:33)
Stuffs were going on behind the scene! The Rock was being struck, but only some ELDERS (the Holy Spirit) witnessed it! Shortly after the darkness went off, Jesus lifted His voice and exclaimed: ‘…it is finished…’! (Mark 15:34,37; John 19:30)
Our sins punished in Him; our Salvation sure in Him! Hallelujah! But… Fast-forward from Exodus to the book of ‘Numbers’ chapter 20. The Children of Israel got thirsty again in the wilderness! Hear what God told Moses:
‘…TAKE THE ROD, and gather you the assembly together, you, and Aaron your brother, and SPEAK UNTO THE ROCK BEFORE THEIR EYES; and it shall give forth its water…’ (Numbers 20:8)
Please don’t miss what’s going on here! At the first scenario, God told Moses: ‘…take YOUR rod…’ which referred to the ROD OF JUDGMENT. But in this case, Moses and Aaron were at the TABERNACLE before the Lord when God said: ‘…take THE Rod…’ instead of ‘…take YOUR rod…’! (Numbers 20:6,9) It can therefore be concluded that God was not referring to the ROD OF JUDGMENT of Moses! He was referring to the ROD of Aaron the High Priest which was well documented in Scriptures as being in the tabernacle! (Numbers 17:10) It was a Rod of GRACE not judgment!
This Rod has one special characteristics: ‘…and Aaron’s rod that BUDDED…’ (Heb. 9:4) Can you imagine a rod…not planted…but it is bearing flowers as though it was planted? What does that imply? Dead but Alive = RESURRECTION
Jesus…though died physically…yet resurrected with LIFE! From His ‘death’, we have ‘life’! That was the Rod Moses was to use. Keep following carefully.
Moses was also to GATHER THE ASSEMBLY (not some elders). And finally, Moses was to SPEAK UNTO THE ROCK BEFORE THEIR EYES (not to STRIKE the Rock as he did previously); and it shall give forth its water…’ (Numbers 20:8) Instead of HIS rod…it was THE rod! Instead of the ELDERS…it was the WHOLE ASSEMBLY! Instead of STRIKING…it was SPEAKING! All these simply connote that this action was NOT about JUDGMENT!
It was about God showing Himself as being GRACIOUS to the people though they complained. Guess what Moses did?
‘…And Moses lifted up his hand, and with HIS rod he STRUCK THE ROCK twice…’ (Numbers 20:11)
Did you notice what I highlight? ‘…and with HIS rod he STRUCK THE ROCK twice…’ HIS rod? (Could it be that Moses exchanged Aaron’s gracious rod for his own judgment rod?) STRUCK the rock? (God said ‘speak’ to the rock…not ‘strike’ the rock)!
What does this connote??? His mind was full of Judgment! Moses was simply saying JESUS HAS TO BE CRUCIFIED AGAIN for the people’s sins! Once saved …is NOT always Saved! IT WAS AN ACT OF UNBELIEF IN THE FINISHED WORK OF CHRIST!!!
Wow… No wonder God told Moses:
‘…Because you BELIEVED ME NOT, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them…’ (Numbers 20:12)
It was a full display of unbelief! I hope you now see why you must not have a double mind on the effect of Christ’s work for us on the cross? He has been struck ONCE…if you have any challenge in any area of your life (may be with sinful addictions, sickness or any challenge)… you are to SPEAK to the Rock in faith that He has been struck already for you…and your healing will flow forth in Jesus name!
This is also a great lesson to all Gospel teachers: when you gather the congregation together on Sunday or whatever day, DO NOT STRIKE the ROCK again! Simply speak to the Rock!
Don’t preach sermons that tend to make believers feel Jesus sacrifice for them need to be repeated!
Rather, let them have confidence in Jesus work for them and waters will flow out of the ROCK and wash off all seeming filthiness from their lives! (Eph. 5:26) Hallelujah.
Let me conclude this teaching with these powerful words from Apostle Peter in the scriptures:
‘…But SANCTIFY THE LORD GOD IN YOUR HEARTS: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you A REASON OF THE HOPE THAT IS IN YOU with meekness and fear…’ (1Peter 3:15)
How do you ‘sanctify’ the Lord? Get back to what God told Moses:
‘…Because you believed me not, to SANCTIFY ME in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them…’ (Numbers 20:12)
Therefore, ‘sanctify the Lord’ simply means uphold the testimony of the FINISHED WORK OF CHRIST in your hearts! Glory to Jesus.
Were you blessed by this piece? Kindly let me know. Remain under Grace.