The Rock

The Rock

Exodus 17:5-7
„And the LORD said to Moses, "Pass on before the people, taking with you some of the elders of Israel, and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 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. And he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of the quarreling of the people of Israel, and because they tested the LORD by saying, "Is the LORD among us or not?"”

So here is the call from God to strike the rock with the staff and water will flow from it. Moses followed the instruction exactly and the people got to drink. But it wasn’t the only time they drank from the rock:

Numbers 20:7-13
„and the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So you shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their cattle." And Moses took the staff from before the LORD, as he commanded him. Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, "Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?" And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock. And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them." These are the waters of Meribah, where the people of Israel quarreled with the LORD, and through them he showed himself holy.”

The second time did not go according to plan. They should have spoken to the rock, but instead Moses struck it twice. But let’s be clear: they had to ask the rock to give water!

So the first time Moses had to strike the rock, the second time they had to ask. It doesn’t seem like a big difference, as it had to be struck for the first time, and the end result is the same: it became water for the people. Yet this was a big difference before God so much that God did not allow Moses and Aaron into the land of promise:

„And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them."”

It must have been something of great significance. Let's look first at the meaning of the rock:

John 7:37-39
„On the last day of the feast, the great day, 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.'" Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”

So the rock is Jesus. The rock gave water to two different influences. What could it be if not a prophecy? As we remember, the first time Moses had to strike the rock. It is an external influence, a kind of coercion to give water. The rock did not give water by itself, but by order. How can all this be collate with Jesus?

John 8:42
„Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.

This is when Moses struck the rock. Let's read it again briefly:

„Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock”

So God stood on the rock! God says everything for a reason. This means that He is greater than Jesus. That's why we can read the following:

John 3:16
„For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

The Father gave Jesus for us, Jesus did not come of His own accord, but at the command of the Father. This is why Moses had to strike the rock for the first time. Let’s look at the second story when the rock gave water.

We know that the Father and Jesus are one. So they are in complete agreement, in perfect unity. We have read before that God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son. From the unity between the Father and Jesus, we know that Jesus did not feel any different. So just as the Father loves His children, so does Jesus. We are as important to Jesus as we are to the Father. Therefore, it was important that for the second time the rock was not struck by Moses. Here we can see that the Father does not stand on the rock like the first time. So the rock would not have given water on command but voluntarily.

John 4:1-10
„Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. And he had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?" (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water."”


1Corinthians 10:4
„and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.”

Antal Farkas
(July 10, 2021)

Tagged: living water, Tanach, miracle, Jesus, The Rock, wilderness

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