Monday, December 04, 2006

Exodus 17 "Rock" "Battle"

Exodus 17:6 "Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel."

The Israelites have murmured and now they chide Moses with the question Is the Lord among us, or not? . They have come to a place where there was no visible sign of water and they feared that they would die of thrist along with their cattle. Naturally, they attacked their leader wondering if he had brought them out of Egypt to kill them.

God instructed Moses to take the elders and go to Horeb where the Lord would stand before him and he was to strike the rock. I believe this to be a reference to the death of Jesus later in the New Testament(Luke 23:33). We know that he was struck down and that he is the rock of our salvation (I Corinthians 10:4). Then at the well he offered the woman the water that she might never thrist again(John 4:5-30).

I Corinthians 10:4 "And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ."

Note that in our passage Moses was told to strike the rock and water came forth. In the next book of the Bible in Numbers 20:8-13 Moses is told to speak to the rock. He is apparently angry at the children of Israel and struck the rock twice instead of speaking to it as he was told. For this transgression Moses and Aaron were not allowed to enter into Canaan.

Numbers 20:8 "...speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water..." The whole passage tells the story. My point here is that Christ died once for sin (was struck). Once was all that was necessary. There is no need to put him on the cross again.

Romans 6:10 "For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God."

You will notice that there are many depictions of Christ on the cross. I prefer the empty cross because Christ is no longer there. You will notice there are many tombs of people who are dead that people reference. Christ's tomb is empty. We worship a living Savior. The empty cross and the empty tomb are His victory and ours.

At first Moses was told to strike the rock which represents The Lord Jesus. From then on, it was only necessary to speak to him and obey him. Moses was wrong to strike the rock the second time and disobey the command to speak only.

Exodus 17:8 "Then came Amalek and fought with Israel in Rephidim."

Joshua now comes into the picture as the leader of the fighting men of Israel. The balance of the chapter deals with Israel's fight with Amalek. Moses stood on the top of the hill to watch the battle. He was accompanied by Aaron and Hur. Moses held up his hands and when he did so, Israel prevailed. When Moses' arms became tired and he let them down, Israel began to loose the battle. Aaron and Hur held up Moses' arms and Israel prevailed in the fight.

It is good to note that even a great man like Moses needed someone to hold up his arms. Everyone needs help at times.

We have seen Israel go from a family to a nation on the move. Now they have been tested in battle. It is a training ground for later when they go into Canaan.

Psalm 20:7 "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God."

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