28: Exodus 17:3-6

COPYRIGHT WARNING

365 Prophecies: Prophecy 28

The Messiah will be given the title of: The Rock.

Old Testament Prediction:

Exodus 17:3-6 And the people thirsted there for water, and the people complained against Moses, and said, “Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?”  So Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me!” 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, that the people may drink.” And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

New Testament Fulfillment:

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, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.

Application:

In this 28th Old Testament prophecy, we find the amazing story of the children of Israel, traveling through the desert for 40 years, on a journey that should have taken just 11 days.

While 2.5 million people were kept every day under God’s care and protection, they still found reason to complain and doubt God’s goodness. As they come to Moses with their desire for water to quench their thirst, Moses approaches God with their request and receives from Him both strange and wonderful instructions on how God’s people can satisfy their thirst:

Exodus 17:6 “…you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.

As the Rock is struck, water flows out to quench the thirst of those who drink from it, giving them life.

It is not until we arrive at the New Testament Book of 1 Corinthians that Paul tells us that this rock in the desert which was struck was really Jesus Christ:

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, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food,  and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.

Jesus would be struck just once for our sins. Any person who comes to Him in confession of his sins has the assurance that all his record of wrong has been removed, and a new life has begun.

Hebrews 10:12 But this Man (Jesus Christ), after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God…

The Bible states that Jesus was to be struck for our sins just one time:

At the Cross, Jesus took upon Himself the sins of every person who would be born on the earth. As our sins were placed in Jesus, He was struck one time by the wrath of God, bearing the judgment and punishment that we all deserved. As a result of this one sacrifice, all sins have been forgiven for all time. There is no further sacrifice that is necessary.

Hebrews 9:24-26 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another—He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

Hebrews 9:28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

Later, the congregation of Israel came to Kadesh, and once again, they were thirsty. As they began to complain to Moses, his anger was aroused. As Moses came before the Lord, he was instructed to go back to the rock this second time and simply Speak to the Rock, and water would flow out for the people:

Numbers 20:7-8 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their 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.”

Why was Moses instructed to simply speak to the Rock this second time and not strike it? Because this rock that supplied water for God’s people represented Jesus Christ who would be struck once for all men. After Jesus had made His sacrifice for the sins for the world, all that anyone had to do in order to experience salvation was simply come and speak to Jesus (the Rock) to receive the forgiveness of their sins.

In the New Testament, Jesus explained this truth to the Samaritan woman at the well:

John 4:14 “but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

In the Old Testament, on the last day of the feast of Tabernacles, the priest would take a silver pitcher and fill it with water from the pool of Siloam. He would then pour out the water onto the altar in the outer court of the tabernacle. It was a remembrance and symbol of the water that came flowing out from the rock in the desert, as described in the Book of Exodus.

As this water is poured out on the rock, the people would be standing before the priest, singing praises to God, from Psalms 115 to 118.

When Jesus stood before the gathered worshipers on the last day of the feast of Tabernacles, as described in John 7:37-38, they did not realize that at that exact moment, standing before them was the Great I AM of the Old Testament, who was typified in the water that poured out from the rock that Moses struck in the desert.

John 7:37-38 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

Here in John Chapter 7, Jesus was reenacting this tradition that was carried out on the final day of the feast of Tabernacles, explaining that He is the object of this verse that is described here in this 28th prophecy from Exodus 17:3-6.

When we examine Numbers Chapter 20, as Moses came back to the rock the second time, he did not speak to the Rock. He took his staff and struck the Rock twice. As a result of this action, the Lord informed Moses that he would not be allowed to enter into the land that He had promised the children of Israel.

Numbers 20:10-12 And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock; and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?” Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank. Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”

Moses was angry with the people, but in the process of expressing this anger, he misrepresented the Lord. The Rock in the desert was a prophetic picture of the coming Messiah. The sacrifice that the Messiah would make for the sins of the world would be made just once. Therefore, the rock that Moses struck twice distorted the true plan of God. In this error of Moses we see how important it is to do exactly what the Lord has said, and nothing else. We also understand that correctly representing to other people who Jesus really is and that the salvation He offers is by Grace through Faith is of vital importance.

The Rock in the desert represented Jesus Christ who would be struck only once. By Moses striking the Rock a second time, He misrepresented God before the people.

The people were thirsty and God wanted to quench their thirst. The Lord was not angry with the people; Moses was. By striking the Rock when Moses should have spoken to it, Moses was representing to the people that when they came to God with their needs, He was angry. In fact, the Lord loves His people and delights in meeting their needs.

Since our Rock, Jesus Christ, has already been struck for us, all that we have to do today is speak to Him, and the water He longs to give us will pour forth. God is not angry with us. In fact, He delights when we come to Him in humility and ask Him to forgive us, meet our needs, or give us any other good thing that we need for our life.

This 28th Old Testament Prophecy is a vivid and powerful representation of the importance of fulfilled prophecy in the Bible and how God uses it to illustrate who Jesus is and why He came to the earth for us.


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