I’d never drawn the connection before and maybe some of you haven’t either, about the two times God provides water to the Israelites and the symbolism of the two covenants.
Let’s have a look at both accounts.
Exodus 17:5 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go on before the people, and take with you some of the elders of Israel. Also take in your hand your rod with which you struck the river and go. Behold I will stand before you there on the rock, in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.”
In his book, Your Miracle is In Your Mouth, Joseph Prince draws some similarities between this occasion and the cross. When Jesus was struck, blood and water flowed, and the same rod that Moses had struck the rock with to produce water, he had also struck the river with when it turned to blood. God also commanded him to take the elders of Israel with him, and when Jesus was crucified and struck it was also in front of the elders. Okay, moving on to see what significance this brings us.
“I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” John 6:35
1 Corinthians 10:1-4
Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.
The 2nd time the Israelites needed water God commanded Moses not to hit the rock, but to speak to it:
Speak to the rock before their very eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals
Joseph Prince here draws out the point that this time the rod that Moses beat the rock with twice though he had been commanded to speak to it, was actually Aaron’s priestly rod, the rod that blossomed with buds though dead, and God told Moses that because he’d disobeyed he would not enter the promised land. Even the two rocks in the two different passages have different names in the Hebrew symbolic of Jesus.
So how do we speak to the rock today? Thank you Jesus for forgiving my sin and for the promises in your Word that you are making good to me. You essentially agree with God’s Word, instead of bringing up sins over and over that He has already forgiven. We confess our righteousness in Christ and this enables us to break the hold of sins and addictions in our lives. God’s Word has great power.