Saturday, June 8, 2013

Geology in Scripture - Rocks and Water

I love rocks. Perhaps it's weird to be fascinated by rocks, but I am. I recently came home with a bunch of  Rocky Mountain stones, now displayed in a bowl.  I also brought home stunning rocks from Israel last year.  And when I visit a certain mission in the Baja, I always try to get down to the beach for an hour or so and hunt for rocks. The rocks down there - pounded over and over again by the strong waves - are smooth, beautiful, unique, and... well, I digress.

Rocks from the Baja shore

 Awhile back, I wrote a post on our Messiah, the Chief Cornerstone of our faith.  If you missed it, you can find it here.

I was listening to a sermon by Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel the other day.  He was talking about the connection of Moses striking the rock in the wilderness to the crucifixion.  It is fascinating.

In Exodus 17, the children of Israel were exceedingly thirsty and they let Moses know in no uncertain terms, through whining and complaining.  In Exodus 17:6, the Lord responded "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.  So out of the rock flowed living water, and the thirst of the Israelites was temporarily quenched.

Later on, in Numbers 20, the children of Israel were again exceedingly thirsty, and again they loudly let Moses know of their thirst.  This time, the Lord God told Moses to SPEAK to the rock.  However, Moses in his frustration with the people of Israel, struck the rock twice.  This got him in BIG TROUBLE with the Lord, enough so that he was banned from entering the Promised Land.

Why was the Lord so upset with Moses?  Was it simply because Moses did not obey a seemingly random command specifically enough?  Or was there a reason that the Lord wanted Moses to SPEAK to the rock instead of STRIKE it?

When Yeshua was crucified, the soldiers approached Him to break His legs to  hurry along his death.  But when they saw that He was already dead, one of the soldiers plunged his spear into His side, and out flowed blood and water.  (See John 19:34).  Moses striking the rock the first time in the wilderness is a snapshot of this very event.  But the striking of the "Rock" only had to happen once.  When Yeshua died to take on the sin of mankind, it was once and for all.  (see Romans 6:10, Hebrews 7:27, 9:12, 10:10).  We now can speak to the Rock, who took on our sin when He died.  He does not have to be struck, ever again.

Water in Israel is very important.  Since biblical times, there have been three kinds of drinking water:  cistern water, well water, and living water.  Of course, the most desirable of these was living water... water that moved. 

While I was in Israel last year in late spring, the Jordan river was flowing rapidly near its source on Mount Hermon.  I filled my water bottle with it  and drank deeply... it was very refreshing!  (I brought home a bottle of this water, and I still have it.  I don't think it can be called living water anymore, after sitting for a year in a plastic bottle!)

When Yeshua met with the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4, He told her “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again,  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.”

During the Feast of Tabernacles in John 7:37-38,  Yeshua repeats this idea to a much larger crowd:  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.”

The physical thirst of the Israelites in the wilderness is a snapshot of our spiritual thirst, which only Yeshua can satisfy.

The waters of En Gedi, an oasis in the desert near the Dead Sea

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