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Archive for May 26th, 2022

Our Rock

“The Rock they followed was Christ.” (I Corinthians 10:4) Paul is saying that the cloud and pillar were the glory of Christ and all of the provision was from Christ. (1)

“Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.” And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.” (Exodus 17:6) Why did Moses strike the rock? Well, because God told him to. But the significance is seen in what Christ did for us, rescuing us from the thirst of separation from and lack of knowledge of God. Christ was struck many blows and killed on a cross.

“Take the rod; and you and your brother Aaron assemble the congregation and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it may yield its water. You shall thus bring forth water for them out of the rock and let the congregation and their beasts drink.” So Moses took the rod from before the Lord, just as He had commanded him; and Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly before the rock. And he said to them, “Listen now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?” Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation and their beasts drank. But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” (Numbers 20:8-12) “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go up to this mountain of Abarim, and see the land which I have given to the sons of Israel. When you have seen it, you too will be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother was; for in the wilderness of Zin, during the strife of the congregation, you rebelled against My command to treat Me as holy before their eyes at the water.” (Numbers 27:12-14) Why was God so upset about Moses striking the rock rather than speaking to it. Firstly, it was because God told them to speak to it and they did not obey. Secondly, there is strong evidence of anger and arrogance from Moses in the passage, whereas he had been humble before. “Listen now, you rebels” sounds like he is angry with them. Righteous anger is appropriate, but “the anger of man does not accomplish the righteousness of God.” (James 1:20) Evidence for the arrogance is seen in the phrase “shall we bring forth”. God works the miracles; Moses or anyone else is the conduit or messenger. Thirdly, by not obeying God, they were not showing the people proper reverence (fear) of the Lord. Fourthly, and I think significantly, Moses’ and Aaron’s presumption twisted the meaning of God’s analogy of Christ’s work. You see that the second time that Christ comes, He will not suffer on the cross but come triumphantly in order to gather His own to Himself. As the Scripture says, “Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.” (Hebrews 9:28) God struck Christ in order that we may go free from the penalty of sin. Now we may ask what is needful so that we may be free from the power of sin, and one day we will ask in order to be freed from the presence of sin. We ask for the what God has provided.

Christ is our provision in whom we trust. He is our protector. He is our power. David knew this very well in the heat of battle and in the intrigues of palace. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth should change.” (Psalm 46:1) “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge.” (2 Samuel 22:3)

Moses wanted to know more of God. He presented his case logically, concluding, “if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight.” (Exodus 33:13) “Then the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen.” (Exodus 33:21-23) As the hymn says, “He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock, that shadows a dry, thirsty land; He hideth my life in the depths of His love, and covers me there with His hand, and covers me there with His hand.” So, Christ is not only a protector and refuge from the evils of the world, the flesh, and the devil, but more significantly, from the wrath of God. We have far too low of a view of God’s righteousness and justice. His very character compels Him to have wrath for sin. Christ is as an indestructible umbrella shielding us from the rain of brimstone coming from the very hand of God for sin. He shields us because He has taken our wrath, and in His death is “the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” (Romans 3:26) I dare not step out from under my protection from God’s wrath, but by His help, I persevere in trust of Christ’s finished work on my behalf.

In summary, Our Rock, the Lord Jesus, was cleft by dying on the cross, so that we may have a refuge from the wrath of God and one day see Him because the Spirit is making us the pure in heart (Matthew 5:8). Therefore, as one hymn says, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.” And another hymn confirms, “No merit of my own, His anger to suppress. My only hope is found in Jesus’ righteousness.”

“Indeed their rock is not like our Rock, even our enemies themselves judge this.” (Deuteronomy 32:31)

  1. I feel that this blog entry is woefully inadequate in the covering the scope of this subject, and therefore, it jumps around as a rough survey of many of uses of rock as an analogy for Christ. This needs to be a chapter or book. Our God is awesome!

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