God’s Thoughts to Me
You and Aaron must take the staff and assemble the entire community. As the people watch, speak to the rock over there, and it will pour out its water (Numbers 20:8, NLT).
Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it, is wise, like a person who buiilds a house on a solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the wind beats against that house, it won’t collapse, because it is built on a bedrock (Matthew 7:23-25, NLT).
The Rock of All Ages
Quite a few passages and incidents in the Bible used to intimidate me into the most horrible feelings of dread and terror towards our Pappa God. I was like a frightened child of an abusive God who only desired to punish me with the letter of His Law.
Reading it brought an image to mind of His finger pointing straight into my face, indicating how bad, useless, unlovable, unsavory etc., I was. Loving me was a real stretch, even for Him! Time to clean up your act, Mia, the sooner the better!
The incident of Moses striking the rock the second time after our Pappa explicitly told him to speak to the rock, was one incident that made me feel that way. I mean, it resulted in Moses not being allowed to enter the Promised Land. He could only look at Canaan from afar, from the top of Mount Nebo.
Doesn’t the Bible say that Moses was a friend of God? One of the most humble men who ever walked the earth (Numbers 12:3)? And wasn’t his disobedience understandable because that moaning bunch of Israelites was enough to drive anyone up the wall?
If this is how our Pappa treated this child of His over one act of disobedience, what will become of me for whom this kind of disobedience seems just a minor offense?
Then I read an article by Darin Hufford, “Beating the Rock”, in which he explained how these two incidents in which our Pappa provided water in the desert from a rock to His chosen people, were actually metaphors explaining the two covenants … the Covenant of the Law vs the Covenant of Grace.
I realized I was looking at the whole scenario through my religious glasses, seeing only Moses and the punishment he received, but not our Pappa and the reason for His actions.
The first instance where Moses struck the rock, they were at Mount Sinai, at the beginning of Israel’s wanderings in the desert; there where they received the law. Following the law blindly only leads one into fruitless wanderings in the desert of self-effort.
The second time occurred at Kadesh, near the beginning of their entrance into the Promised Land.
The first time was a picture of the covenant of law where Pappa is perceived as a law master giving us directions or a formula on how to find His favor, if we can just follow those rules.
If people are like me, they would certainly try their utmost to keep the law, only to find that it is a heartless, loveless, mindless sort of relationship without the slightest trace of life. Although the law is holy and good, we are unable to fulfill its requirements.
A relationship of love cannot be built on rules and formulas, and in any case, our Lord Jesus was only struck once for all of us, to pay for our sin and to enable us to enter into His Canaan Life of Love.
The second instance where our Pappa provided water from the rock, symbolizes the essence of a new covenant, the transition from following rules to moving into a relationship with Him. Striking someone is not condusive towards a relationship of love and our Lord Jesus is not a woman beater.
Our Lord Jesus was trying to get the same message across with His reference to the two houses built on two spiritual foundations.
Although these two houses looked similar, the one was built on the solid foundation of the Lord Himself while the other was built on religious sands of self-sufficiency with materials of self-righteous wood, hay and stubble (1 Corinthians 3:12). This house was unable and will always be unable to withstand the trials and tribulations of life.
Dear Ones, when we are spiritually dying of thirst, let us go to the Rock of Ages, speaking to Him … allowing Him to quench our thirst from His Fountain of Life … leading us into His Loving Embrace.
We don’t need to strike the rock anymore to drink freely from the Living Waters of Life.
Much love xx
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