Tuesday, June 24, 2014

unlikely nourishment -- pt. 2

(by Pastor Joe)
The Word for Today: Exodus 18
mark this: 1 Corinthians 10:3-4
"They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ."
Life is complicated--we get that. But the Word of God is not. It certainly is at times complex, or even minutely detailed, but never so complicated that we need some sort of secret knowledge or special degree. The rule of thumb is: keep it simple. But that is difficult in this day and age. Never have we as a people had such instantaneous access to information. Ironically, all that info has only served to further confuse us.
British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge, concerning our modern times, wrote: "We have educated ourselves into imbecility." You can find plentiful evidence for this in our political and educational systems, but the sad truth is that this effect has carried over to Christians as well. There is no end to all of our books and programs and commentaries and paraphernalia, but our people seem to be growing further from, not closer to, the basic truths of our faith.
That is why I am grateful for this amazing book of Exodus, where we see the Israelites experience, physically, what we as followers of Christ experience spiritually. They are, in many ways, our "guinea pigs," as we learn from their experience and mistakes. In the past four blogs, Franklyn has done a brilliant job of bringing out how fundamental the accounts of the Passover, the Exodus, and the Red Sea are to us some 3,5oo+ years later. All of these events point us to Christ.
Yesterday we focused on the connection between Christ and the manna. Today, we are looking at the water. The Israelites encounter two liquid problems in these chapters- the bitter waters of Marah, and the lack of water in Rephidim.
Both times, God provides--and as he does, he points us again to Jesus. At Marah, Moses is instructed to throw a chunk of wood, of all things, into the waters to take away the bitterness. Years later, God uses a chunk of wood, of all things, to defeat sin (1).
At Rephidim, Moses is instructed, of all things, to strike a rock and out would come water. This was essential for the Israelites, but it only temporarily quenched their thirst. Years later, Jesus said to a woman by a well, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life (2) ."
And so Exodus, while indeed the account of how God rescued and redeemed the people of Israel from Egypt, is even more fundamentally about His Son, Jesus. Through it we learn that Jesus is our true food and Jesus is our true drink, because only Christ truly satisfies and only Christ truly lasts forever.
(1) Galatians 3:13
(2) John 4:13-14

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