By: Ely Lagajino
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling Philippians 2:12 (NKJV)
The Israelites “drank from that spiritual Rock and that Rock is Christ Jesus who was “struck” once, yet He continues to provide living water to those who pray in faith to Him” (I Corinthians 10:4; Exodus 17:6).
After their 37 years of unrecorded wandering in the desert, the Israelites go back to Kadesh. A few day’s journey will take them to the border of the Promised Land. They will pass through the territory of Edom, then the land of Moab before crossing the Jordan River.
The water that flows from the rock stops flowing when they rest just before passing Edom’s territory. This is an opportunity for them to walk by faith. But the new generation murmurs and cries for water. They charge Moses and Aaron of the same accusations made by their parents. They quickly forget that God supplies them water for 38 years.
God directs Moses with Aaron to gather the people. He tells Moses to speak to the Rock this time before the presence of the Israelites. But, Moses losses his patience because of the Israelites’ continuous complains. He seems to have lost his trust in God too as he cries, “Hear now ye rebels, must we fetch you water from this rock?” Moses takes credit for himself, instead of honoring God for the miracle. He strikes the Rock twice. He is supposed to speak to it symbolizing prayer in the name of Jesus, the water-giving Rock for a blessing so everyone will follow. Striking the Rock is like crucifying Christ again. Despite the disobedience, water gushes out and flows, but Moses and Aaron sin against God. They say sorry, and God forgives them. But, they are prohibited from entering the Promised Land because of the costly attitude of disobedience, pride and misrepresentation of Christ’s sacrifice.
God in His holiness is full of compassion; He shows His beloved prophet the Promised Land before his death.
Numbers 20:1-13; PPp4449-459