“…and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”
1 Corinthians 10:4 (NKJV)
Paul the apostle goes on to say that these things in the Old Testament were written for our benefit and in these days when availability of water is a global concern, there are things worth noting from Israel’s wilderness wandering.
When Israel thirsted in Rephidim, God gave Moses a specific command to strike the rock with his rod. From the rock that he struck, God produced water to slake the thirst of the parched Israelites and their cattle. (Exodus 17:1-6).
Some time later at Kadesh, water shortage recurred and God told Moses to speak to the rock but did not tell Moses to strike the rock. Moses, sorely provoked by the Israelites, said, “Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?” and struck the rock twice—something that God had not, on this occasion, told Moses to do. God produced water out of the rock, but was displeased with Moses and Aaron who consequently, by way of punishment, were denied entry to the physical promised land. (Numbers 20:7-13).
Why was the Eternal so displeased with Moses and Aaron? Unbelief, or lack of trust in God, was involved (verse 12), as well as neglecting to give God the glory (see verse 10—“must we”), but perhaps we could also say that the Eternal was displeased because Moses and Aaron broke the pattern or model. We could speculate that the first episode at Rephidim prefigured Christ’s first advent when Our Lord and Saviour was indeed smitten, part of His supreme atoning sacrifice, resurrection and acceptance by God the Father who later sent the Holy Spirit. Then perhaps God intended the second episode at Kadesh to prefigure Jesus’s second advent when He will NOT be smitten, but the Holy Spirit will be poured out abundantly.
Jesus identifies Himself as the Fountain Of Life, inviting us to drink (Isaiah 12:3, Jeremiah 2:13, John 4:10-14, John 7:37-39 and Revelation 21:6.) Physical water, H2O, is a divine drink pointing us to the living water Christ Jesus alone provides.
Holy Father, Great God, thank you not only for the blessing of drinkable water but for Living Water, the Holy Spirit, which you send in the name of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Study by John Armstrong
Worldwide Church of God Exeter
De La Rue Way
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