The Rock that Follows
Today’s passage in 1 Corinthians 10:4, apostle Paul refers back to the wilderness journey, and speaks about the rock which provided water for the Israelites in the wilderness. Numbers 20, Exodus 17 record these 2 incidents where God provides water from these 2 rocks. Let us think of how God provides for us today and how water flowed out of this rock.
1. Water from Rephidim
Exodus 17:2-7. This rock at Mount Horeb is a type of Jesus, the eternal Rock. Striking the rock foreshadows crucifixion. The water that flowed from the rock after being struck refers to the coming of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus was struck and beaten on the cross, His water and blood flowed out. John 7:38-39. This water that will continue to flow is referring to the Holy Spirit. It speaks of the work of the Holy Spirit that leads and provides for the church in the wilderness.
Those with that spirit and water will have the traits:
(i) The work of cleansing and purifying
(ii) There is work of renewal
(iii) There is a work of satisfaction
It is the Holy Spirit upon Simeon and Anna that allowed them to recognise Jesus.
2. The water that flowed from Kadesh
Numbers 20:8-12. This is a different event from the Rephidim event. It is 39 years later. The Israelites were thirsty again for some reason. Moses led them to the rock of Meribah in Kadesh, similar to how he was led to the rock of Horeb 39 years ago. In Exodus 17:6, at Horeb God told Moses to strike the rock. The first rock is “shur” which means one piece of boulder or big rock. But the second rock “selah” already has cracks. Isaiah 7:19, Jeremiah 16:16, Jeremiah 48:28 speak of places that lend themselves to fortification. Jeremiah 49:16, Obadiah 1:3 too. The second “selah” rock of provision, the rock that is already split, so people can hide in between those cracks. It is a huge lofty rock but in between are cracks where people can hide. This second rock in its meaning and significance refers to the Lord who is already stricken and crucified, and more importantly is God’s instructions in how to draw water from the second rock. According to Numbers 20:8, God said to speak to the second rock in front of all the congregation. To the first rock, God said to only bring the elders and strike the rock. To the second rock, God said to bring all the congregation of Israel and in their sight, speak to the rock. Striking the rock and speaking to the rock, what is the great difference? God said, speak to the Rock. What is speaking to the rock in today’s main passage 1 Corinthians 10:4, that spiritual rock is Jesus. What is speaking to Jesus? It is prayer. What is striking Jesus? It is crucifying Him, persecuting Him, not believing Him again.
What are we seeking for today? All we need to do is to pray, ask Him, and speak to the Rock, may you and I be able to speak to the rock daily, practise this. Jesus already died for us on the cross, we don’t have to strike Him again, we don’t have to grumble and crucify Him again, all we have to do is to believe that His grace still flows, and speak to Him our spiritual rock. When He returns again, we are not to strike Him again, He does not have to die again. He doesn’t have to deal with our sins again, because He has already taken care of it. (Hebrews 9:28)
Those who will recognise Him, welcome Him, Jesus gave the new covenant. He also told us the distinction of the times during His ministry on this earth, especially the parable of the vineyard. There was a time when the owner of the vineyard sent slaves and they killed them, then the owner sent His own son and they killed Him, and there will be a time when the owner (the Father) will come. (Mark 8:38)
3. The water that follows us
In Numbers 21, they were thirsty again, Numbers 21:16-18. This time rather than complaining and grumbling they sang praises, believing that there is water. This time they were able to believe. Water was flowing underneath them. Even though they cannot see it, all they needed to do is to sing praises, give thanks, and pray, and there was that water. I believe it is the same for us today. Jesus told us in John 4:13-14, everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst. A well of water springing up means it is a living water, a moving water. (John 8:38-39)
Do you have need for water today? Water is something that gives us life, livelihood, quenches our thirst, solves our problems. Are you thirsty? Those who have this water will be thankful daily, singing praises and giving thanks daily.
Symptoms of those with the spirit filled life:
(i) They have everlasting spring of water filled in them. They will never run out of grace and joy and thanksgiving. It is not visible but they will be filled. They will never run out of that thanksgiving and joy. May that be you. They become humble. They are not greedy for attention, for money, for human physical fleshly sense because God provides.
(ii) Their spirit and soul will be refreshed daily. There cannot be depression because there is refreshment and joy renewed daily, grace of God will not be quenched. It is not a temporary emotion or feeling but ongoing.
(iii) They will have the fruit of the spirit I their life: Love, joy, peace, faith, faithfulness, self control, gentleness, etc.
Those who believe in Jesus will receive that Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, we cannot survive in this world and keep our faith. When we have this water, He will solve 2 problems:
(i) He will allow us to do and like the holy things such as prayer, reading the bible, studying His Word. That will cause us to gain victory in this world, find joy in this world, find reason and purpose in our lives.
(ii) The Holy Spirit will help us to avoid the sinful things that we used to like in this world.
May you and I be able to taste of this water and be filled of this water of the Holy Spirit. May you live a life filled with the spirit of our God, our Lord Jesus Christ.