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.” (Exodus 17:5-6)
It’s amazing to me that, having witnessed all the miracles God performed on their behalf, the children of Israel were consistently quick to complain, and in some instances, get violent. In this story, Moses pleaded with the LORD about what to do for water saying the people were ready to stone him. So interestingly, the LORD had Moses use his staff — the same staff that made the waters of Nile undrinkable — to strike a rock and provide water for Israel in the sight of the elders.
Apparently, this was no ordinary and inconspicuous rock. The Jewish writer Abarbanel said this is where Moses had previously seen the Glory of God and thus it was referred to as “the rock” (in Hebrew, ha’tzur). Because the rock is where God would stand, the LORD is associated with “the Rock.” Because of this rock Israel would live for from it issued mayim chayim or “living water” and flowed down to the people at Rephidim. Once again, the LORD was demonstrating that He was their source for all things; He was their Rock, their life and their provider. Likewise, He is the Rock for all generations — the source of living water for all His people in every age.
Many scriptures referring to God as the Rock but perhaps one of the more interesting connections to this particular rock is the one that Paul made when he said:
“For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:4)
Therefore, we are to understand that the Messiah is the source of living water. He affirmed this truth to those who witnessed His ministry, first to the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4) and then to the crowds gathered in Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7). He is our source for all things and stands ready to provide for us regardless of our circumstances for nothing is impossible for Him. So then, if you are in need today and you feel you’re in an impossible situation, remember the words of David who said, “When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:2).
Blessings and Shalom,