“And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock; and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?” Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank. Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.””
Numbers 20:10-12 NKJV
I remember back in the days when I was being pursued by the Lord. I was a very damaged sinner, with many internal scars and open spiritual wounds, sensative to the touch, recoiling at any mention of the name of Jesus, or my need to be saved. I had been exposed to many a well meaning Christian who came to me to magnify my sinfulness and remind me that I was on my way to hell.
Most of them failed to hallow the Lord, and show me that He was loving. I only heard about the judgement that awaited me because of my sin. In the face of such an approach, I built up walls around those things that I did, and defended my sins. Instead of being hallowed, God was depicted as a cosmic destroyer, with no love, no mercy, and no grace.
As I continue to camp out in the book of Numbers, I read of the second time that Moses went to the rock. By this time, Moses and Aaron were more than frustrated, as the people were constantly complaining. Moses went before the Lord and was told what to do. Somewhere between the tent of meeting and the rock of Horeb, Moses fell into in a place of unbelief.
In his frustration Moses had forgotten the power the Lord had shown, and took things into his own hands, striking the rock twice, where as God had told him to speak to the rock. In the scheme of typography of the Old Testament, the striking of the rock in its first apperance is a foreshadowing of the crucifixion, where Jesus was smitten for the sins of the world.
Just as we now have the Holy Spirit through salvation, and can speak to Jesus, Moses was instructed to speak to the rock for the way had been made.
“and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.”
I Corinthians 10:4 NKJV
Moses had moved from faith, to works, as he went back to human effort to bring about the outcomes of God.
In these times, we have the tendency to do many of the same things. The Gospel in itself has the potential to save. It is easy to insert flesh into the process of sharing the message, as we take our own frustrations into the mission. We see only the sin, and forget the human being. We strike the rock, wave the big bible, and fail to show the loving God who looked upon our own need and saved us. We dwell on judgement, and forget the glory of Jesus.
I have seen a few street preachers in my days, and many of them resorted to the emphasis on people going to hell for their sins. It was all about the penalty. Too often we forget that people we are talking to about Jesus are already in a type of hell as the consequences of sin have made life all but unlivable. They need know about the transforming power of the Lord.
Brothers and sisters, We must be about the business of hallowing the Lord before those who have not tasted the living water. I think of Jesus with the woman at the well. He could have judged for her many sins. Instead, He represented the love of the Father and told her about the living water.
“Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.””
John 4:10 NKJV
Let us go forth and tell of the true nature of the Lord, of the loving God who wants so deperately for us be saved that He sent His Son Jesus to come earth and die for our sins. He went to the cross, sinless, to pay a sin debt He did nor owe, that we can know the joy of salvation, having a debt we could not pay wiped away.
To those of you struggling in sin, racked by feelings of guilt and shame, know that we who are the forgiven, are such because we are sinners saved by grace. We are not perfect.
Come to the water.
“Come to the waters, whoever is thirsty;
drink from the Fountain that never runs dry.
Jesus, the Living One, offers you mercy,
life more abundant in boundless supply.
Come to the River that flows through the city,
forth from the throne of the Father and Son.
Jesus the Savior says, “Come and drink deeply.”
Drink from the pure, inexhaustible One.”
-James Montgomery Boice
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