MOSES SERIES - NUMBER 8
WATER FROM THE ROCK
READING: EXODUS 17:1-7
TEXT: 1 CORINTHIANS 10:4
"They drank from that Spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ."
[a] Down through the years, one of the recurring choruses requested in different corps, has been the one which says, "I love the Army Rock and Roll! My feet are on the Rock, and my name is on the roll."
[b] Thank God, our Reformed faith states very clearly that JESUS IS THE ROCK! Peter IS NOT, NEVER WAS, AND NEVER WILL BE!!
[c] Both our reading and our text help clarify what the Bible means, when it states Christ to be the ROCK!
[a] As we each one are perfectly aware, WATER IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL TO THE MAINTENANCE OF LIFE IN ANY FORM WHATSOEVER!
[b] When space probes are sent out to other planets, one of the first things the sensors ascertain, is whether or not there is any moisture content in the atmosphere, or on the surface of the planet!
[c] If none is found then the scientists involved state that there cannot be any life there! For without this basic essential, life cannot exist!
[d] Is it any wonder then, that God acquaints the provision of spiritual life, with that of the thirsty seeking and finding water!
[e] Remember Jesus speaking at Sycharís well with the Samaritan woman in John 4:10, and He speaks about giving her LIVING WATER, and she would NEVER THIRST AGAIN!
[f] When you are hungry, it is your stomach that complains, but when you are deprived of water, and become parched, and the water threshold in your body is reduced, your whole body begins to suffer, and you very quickly become weak and disorientated.
[g] The SPIRITUAL PARALLEL could not be more striking! For the one who is SPIRITUALLY THIRSTY, Jesus says, in John 7:37 "If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink!"
[h] To deprive ourselves of this Living Water, either through neglect or refusal, is to invite SPIRITUAL DEATH!
[i] Is it not ironic, that the provider of this Living Water, is the One who as He hangs upon the cross cries out "I THIRST!" THIS WAS THE ONLY EXPRESSION OF BODILY SUFFERING WHICH JESUS UTTERED!
[a] In the Bible Reading, we find that apparently the Israelites were on the verge of stoning Moses, because they thought yet again that Godís provision had failed them!
[b] For us on the outside looking in, we might say, "What a faithless lot!"
(1) They had been released from the slavery of Egypt through God sending the plagues, especially the death of the firstborn upon the Egyptians!
(2)††††††† God made it possible, through a mighty miracle, for them to walk through the Red Sea, making it dry land for them, and yet drowned the armies that pursued them!
(3)††††††† They had been led by Godís pillar of cloud by day, and fire by night!
(4)††††††† On a previous occasion when they needed water, the bitter waters of
Marah were made sweet!
[c] Yet here they are, their faith a shambles! Their memories of Godís goodness erased by their thirst!
[d] How awful we might think! YET PERHAPS THERE ARE TIMES, IT APPLIES TO YOU AND ME, MORE THAN WE MIGHT LIKE TO ACKNOWLEDGE!
[e] The Children of Israel, never seemed to have faith in their GOD OF PROVISION for the next step!
DO YOU BELIEVE IN GODíS PROVISION FOR YOUR NEXT STEP??
[f] Is it possible that God, through circumstances in our lives, has been trying to TEST AND REFINE OUR FAITH? How successful has He been?? Have we reacted like the Children of Israel, as if He has never done anything for us?
[a] God told Moses, he was to go to the rock in Horeb - probably known to him during the time he dwelt in the Horeb - Sinai region many years before.
[b] He was to take some of the elders as witnesses, and smite the rock with the rod used in the dividing of the Red Sea, the same rod which became a serpent before Pharaoh!
[c] When he had done as the Lord commanded, THE ROCK WAS CLEFT, and a deluge of water flowed forth - enough for the whole nation of Israel!
[d] The Psalmist says, "He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused water to run down like rivers."
[e] Let me remind you of our text from 1 Corinthians 10:4, "They drank of the Spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ!"
[f] Let me remind you that the Rock Christ Jesus was STRUCK and CLEFT with a cruel Roman Spear on Calvaryís cross.
[g] Moses disobeyed the Lord in Numbers 20, and tried to perform a carbon copy of the miracle - and because of his disobedience, the Lord did not allow him into the promised land!
[h] There are those who would also try to duplicate the work of Salvation! Calvary too, is never to be repeated, for as it says in Hebrews 9:28, "Christ was ONCE OFFERED!"
[i] The difference between the Catholic Mass, and the Sacrament of communion, is that in the Mass, it is believed that Christ is sacrificed again each time! In Holy Communion, on the other hand, those who love the Lord, eat and drink in remembrance of a ONCE ONLY SACRIFICE on Calvary!
[j] In Zechariah 13:1, it is prophesied that through the cross, "there shall be a fountain opened.... for sin and uncleanness."
IT IS A FOUNTAIN THAT FLOWS TO EVERY CORNER OF THE EARTH - FROM ETERNITY TO ETERNITY!
"I know a fount where sins are washed away."
IN THE DESERT OF THIS WORLD, THE SUPPLY FLOWS IN ABUNDANCE FOR EVERY NEED!
[k] There is a Jewish Rabbi fable which says that the Rock actually followed the Children of Israel through the wilderness!
[l] Whilst it is quite possible for God to make that happen, of this I am assured, that our Rock, the Lord Jesus Christ, has promised be with us always, even to the end of the world!
[a] Before receiving Godís provision, wherever the Israelites looked, there was no hope of water Ė
THE DRY SAND BENEATH THEIR FEET!
THE CLOUDLESS SKY ABOVE THEM!
THE DRY BARREN ROCKS ALL AROUND!
Everything CRIED OUT - " I CANNOT QUENCH YOUR THIRST!"
[b] How like the world today!
So many vainly search to have their needs met - to try and quench their thirst in this spiritually barren world around us - WITHOUT SUCCESS!
[c] As Jesus said to the woman of Samaria, "Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again - but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst again."
[d] The prophet Jeremiah speaks the Word of God in 2:13, when it says, "For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me the Fountain of Living Waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water."
[e] That is why the songwriter says in verse 3 of number 547,
"I tried the broken cisterns, Lord,
But ah! the waters failed;
Eíen as I stooped to drink they fled,
And mocked me as I wailed."
[a] If there is a spiritual thirst in your life - you will never satisfy it anywhere else apart from the fountain of eternal life, that springs from the Lord Jesus Christ.
[b] As He says in John 7:37, "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink."
[c] Then He says, in the next verse, "He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of LIVING WATER!"
[d] This is of course speaking of the Holy Spirit, and how He can fill us to overflowing with His presence and power!
[e] This world can never satisfy - The one who drinks of the fountain of the worldís water, can never quench their thirst for satisfaction!
[f] Only Jesus has the ability to do that!
But He can only do it when invited to do so.
[g] For every Christian, there is so much more of the WATER OF GOD, the HOLY SPIRIT! Let us not be afraid to drink at the fountain of that LIVING WATER!
SALVATION ARMY SONG BOOK
CHORUSES - 189
257 (chorus only 545)