Friday, March 23, 2018

guarding the gallery – part 2

The Word for today:
Number 21
mark this:
Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together.  Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. (Numbers 20:8)
Of all God’s illustrations of Jesus, none is more completely developed than “the Rock.” Like a skipping stone, we can follow this Rock from one cover of the Bible to the other.
We first meet the Rock in Exodus:
I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink." So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. (Exodus 17:6)
In case we’re not sure of what the Rock represents, Scripture clearly tells us that the rock was a type (a prophetic picture) of Christ:
For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 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. (1 Corinthians 10:1-4)
The rock was an illustration of Christ. It had already (see Exodus 17:6, above) been struck; and Christ the Rock is to be struck down only once:
Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. (Romans 6:9-10)
He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. (Hebrews 7:27)
When the people need water again, God instructs Moses to speak (a picture of prayer) to the Rock this time:
Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together.  Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. (Numbers 20:8)
But Moses, angered over the people’s lack of faith, impulsively struck the rock with the staff. The water poured out once again, but Moses would pay a dear price for his disobedience.
By striking the rock, he was not being careful to preserve the rock as a type of Christ. Thus Moses and Aaron were forbidden to enter the Promised Land:
And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them." (Numbers 20:12)
Aaron died soon thereafter. But Moses lived for twenty more years. He would make it all the way to Mt. Nebo; but he died there, on the other side of the Jordan River, looking out over a Land he could almost reach out and touch.
Moses was not reprimanded for striking the Rock. He was reprimanded because striking the Rock presented a false picture of Jesus, who would be struck down -- at the cross -- but once. Thereafter his blessings would be procured through prayer.
God fiercely guards the pictures of Christ which he has painted for us. He knows that if they are clearly presented, they pour forth life to all who respond to them in faith.
So let’s not worry about Moses. It would take him 1500 years, but eventually we see him in the Promised Land, at the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ.
Instead, let’s worry about the souls who will never see Jesus if we present a distorted picture of the Rock.

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