To strike the rock once or twice?
“Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.” Numbers 20:11, NIV. Water is essential at any time and any place, but in the desert, it is a life-saver. Moses struck the rock twice, and the water of life came gushing out. Striking the rock twice, however, made Moses and Arron ineligible to enter the promised land. “But the Lord said to Moses and Arron, ‘Because you did not trust me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I gave them.'” Numbers 20:12, NIV. What did Moses do wrong?
Some commentators conclude that Moses erred when he said, “…must we bring you water out of this rock?” Numbers 20:10. It would have been more appropriate had Moses said, ‘Look, God will bring you water out of this rock.’ However, God did not deny entrance into Canaan because of what Moses said, but because of what he did. God instructed Moses to speak to the rock, but Moses struck it and did so twice. Had Moses struck the rock once it may have been acceptable; he did so at another place, and it was acceptable. Exodus 17:6. To determine what was wrong with what Moses did, we must know what the rock represented to the people. Also, we need to know who the rock is?
“They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.” 1 Corinthians 10:3, 4, NIV. Moses was not in the dark concerning the Messiah, the Christ. He spent many days on the mountain with God who educated Moses about His plans for the humankind. The rock represented the Savior of the world, who is the life of humanity; and Savior could be struck only once, not twice. “So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people, …” Hebrews 9: 28, NIV. Because the Savior of the world could not die (struck) more than once, Moses misrepresented the gospel by hitting the rock twice. That was a grave omission on the part of Moses. Even today, if we were to maintain that Jesus is offering Himself in case of each sinner separately, we would be committing a grave error.
The bronze snake; next blog