“Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink...” (Exodus 17:6)
In the hot, sun-baked land of Rephidim, Israel once again found no drinking water. At God’s command, Moses and the elders traveled the short distance to a rock in Horeb. With rod in hand, Moses struck the rock and out poured water.
Enough water surged from this extraordinary rock to quench the thirst of all the children of Israel and their livestock. But, how could this happen?
I believe the rock was supernatural. In fact, Numbers 20:1-13 records a second encounter with this one-of-a-kind rock, in a different location and much later in Israel’s journey.
Still, how do we know it was the same rock and not another?
I Corinthians 10:4 gives the answer, “…all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them...”
Miraculously, the Rock followed and the second time it appeared, the Israelites were camped in Kadesh. Finding no water, Israel again berated Moses, whining about leaving Egypt and having to live in the barren wilderness. They wanted a bountiful place where they could eat grain, figs, grapes and pomegranates.
Helpless to satisfy these frustrating people, Moses and Aaron did what we should all do in wearisome situations. They fell on their faces before Almighty God.
When the glory of the Lord appeared, this time God commanded Moses, “…speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water.”
Exasperated and fed up with Israel’s grumbling, Moses lost his temper. Instead of speaking to the rock, he struck it, not once more, but twice. For this very act of disobedience, God forbid Moses to enter the Promised Land.
Why was it such a dire offense?
When we consider the remaining words of I Corinthians 10:4, we’ll understand. “…For they drank of the spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.”
This Rock, twice providing the Israelites with water, represented Jesus Christ.
But to comprehend fully, we need the whole counsel of scripture.
In the Psalms, King David asked, “…who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God?” Later, he emphatically states, “…Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.”
The New Testament explains this Rock of our salvation is Jesus Christ.
So, how many times was Christ crucified?
At nine o’clock in the morning, soldiers nailed Jesus to the cross. When the noonday sun rose high, an eerie darkness fell over Jerusalem. While Jesus suffered bearing the sin of the world, the darkness remained. At the end of this excruciating separation from the Father, light returned and Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “It is finished.” He then released His Spirit into the hands of the Father, because only Jesus has that power.
Hebrews 10:10 says, Jesus, as the Lamb was offered or struck once for all, not three times as Moses’ disobedience implied.
By dying on the cross, Jesus paid sin’s penalty. He took our endless list of wrongs and wiped it out by nailing it to the cross.
Jesus, God the Son, died as our substitute and by this, He is our Salvation.
Nevertheless, the choice is ours. God will only apply Jesus’ Blood to our sin account when we choose to believe and receive Him.
In Revelation 21:6, Jesus said, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.”
The Israelites drank twice of the water from this Rock not seeing the miracle, but do you?