I tend to drink a lot of water. I live by the philosophy that if my body is made mostly of it, then I should probably keep filling my self with it! But it’s easy to overlook the importance of water in our day to day lives! We have it everywhere yet some people around the world don’t have any access to clean water. We get it out of the tap and in bottles. We can filter and add to it. We color it and sweeten it. Some like lemons in it while others don’t. The point is water is critical to life! Without it our food doesn’t digest, our muscles don’t recover, our lungs can’t function and our brains don’t fire the same way either! So needless to say water is pretty important!
Water is also found throughout the bible as a key part of life. In the beginning God separated it from everything else. He gathered it. Used it to flow through the Garden of Eden to water it. Then he used it to cleanse the earth in the flood. He also used it to rescue his people, the Israelites, from the pursuing Egyptians. God provided for his people with water from a rock and that’s where we’re going to camp out here.
So the Israelites have been rescued from an army that should have killed them. They walked across the sea on dry land and watched their enemies get swallowed up by the water. Now they’re in the desert and they’re complaining about not having good drinking water. While they’re in the desert, a place the Bible calls Rephidim, they are lost and alone and seemingly without hope. Ever been there?
Well, as they’re wondering around their own Rephidim, they get thirst and start yelling at Moses for water. Unsure what to do, Moses begs God for water. That’s when it happens. God tells Moses to strike the rock.
Now I’m not all that bright but I know that rocks don’t produce water! Yet Moses didn’t complain or argue, he just took his staff and beat the rock. And yeah, you guessed it! Water came shooting out of this rock like it was a spring! The Israelites were ecstatic, at least for a little bit!
This week we spent some time comparing this episode of water from a rock with the account of Jesus in the Gospels. You see the Bible calls Jesus a rock. He’s the corner stone, the rock on which the wise builders built their homes of faith, the rock of Peter’s confession was Jesus himself! Now with that understanding look at the cross and watch as the soldiers beat Jesus with a staff (Matthew 27:27-31). They beat him. Then they took that staff and pierced his side and wouldn’t you know it! Water came flowing out of it!
But the story doesn’t stop there! There’s a promise for you and me still to this day. We’re called to strike the rock! In the water of baptism, not only does God clean us just like he did in the flood, but he also puts in us a fountain. And just like the rock in the desert, Jesus tells us to strike the rock. When we fall to our knees and pray, we’re striking the rock. When we read the bible, we’re hitting the rock. The point is to strike the rock and trust in the power of God’s presence. Problems won’t just disappear but you’ll get the power to get through the struggles! You’ll receive God’s providing water to get you through your own Rephidim and into the promised land of his perfect presence. It’s time to strike the rock!