Wednesday, 15 May 2019
Question of the day: Why was Moses treated so severely for striking the rock?
Answer: As Barney Fife used to say, "This is big, really big." God tells Moses ... Deuteronomy 32:51-52 "because you both broke faith with Me among Bnei-Yisrael at the waters of Meribath-kadesh in the wilderness of Zin, because you did not treat Me as holy in the midst of Bnei-Yisrael. you will not enter there ..."
One little mistake ... but it wasn't so little. We have to appreciate what God was doing. God was teaching the people and every future generation lessons in the desert.
There was much symbolism in the desert. There were snakes, fire, disease, the earth opening up and much more, all in the camp. There were blessings too such as mana and water.
That brings us to water (or the lack of it). The first time, Moses was instructed to strike the rock. Exodus 17:6 "Behold, I will stand before you, there upon the rock in Horeb. You are to strike the rock, and water will come out of it so that the people can drink. Then Moses did just so in the eyes of the elders of Israel."
Then later in Numbers 20, similar situation, but this time the instruction is slightly different. Numbers 20:8 "Take the staff and gather the assembly, you and your brother Aaron. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will give out its water. You will bring out water from the rock, and you will give the community something to drink, along with their livestock."
But that's not what Moses did, is it? Numbers 20:10-11 "Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly in front of the rock. He said, 'Listen now, you rebels! Must we bring you water from this rock?' Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with the staff."
Now Moses is in the unusual position of being in trouble. Yes, his mouth got him in trouble. Moses said, "Must we bring you water from this rock?"
Rabbi Trail: Can anyone relate? It is usually your mouth that will get you in trouble. At least that's what I was told all my life. My brother was always curious about what made things work, so he was always touching things, which got him the family nickname "Mr. Hands". My family nickname should have been Mr. Mouth. End RT.
Moses included himself in the blessing. That's bad, but wait, there's more. Numbers 20:12 "But Adonai said to Moses and Aaron, 'Because you did not trust in Me so as to esteem Me as holy in the eyes of Bnei-Yisrael, therefore you will not bring this assembly into the land that I have given to them.'"
Water coming forth from the rock twice, on two separate occasions represents the two comings of Yeshua HaMashiach. In the first coming, Yeshua is Mashiach ben Yoseph, the Son of Joseph, the suffering servant. In the second coming, Yeshua is Mashiach ben David, the Son of David, the reigning King.
Water represents life, it's even called "living water". Yeshua said, John 10:10b "I have come that they might have life, and have it abundantly!"
God wanted to make this clear. In the first coming, Yeshua (the rock on which I stand) was smitten. Isaiah 53:8b "For He was cut off from the land of the living, for the transgression of my people" - the stroke was theirs. In the second coming, Yeshua (again, the rock on which I stand) is to be blessed. Matthew 23:39 "For I tell you, you will never see Me again until you say, 'Baruch ha-ba b'shem Adonai. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!'" (Yeshua is quoting Psalm 118:26).
By striking the rock the second time, Moses missed the opportunity to show the fullness and distinction between the first and second coming. Yeshua will not be smitten in His second coming, but blessed.
Moses didn't have the benefit of living after the crucifixion. We do. We have an advocate in the risen Lord not available to Moses. Give thanks and purpose to obey God as we walk with Him to our destiny in the promised land.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,