Moses Smiting The Rock
||Rev. Ronald Van Overloop
||81, 396, 290, 357
- The setting.
- The Lord tries Israel with the lack of water for the congregation (2).
- They gathered in order to contend or strive (“chode” 3) with Moses and Aaron.
- These generations of Israel are no better than the previous, using similar language.
- Moses and Aaron’s reaction.
- Their hopes for these generations are dashed in frustration.
- They still go to God at the door of the tabernacle.
- At Rephidim (Ex. 17:6) God commanded Moses to strike the rock for water.
- Moses (and Aaron) sinned grievously.
- The sin was not that Moses hit the rock instead of speaking to it.
- Moses did not believe God - “ye believed Me not” (12)
- Moses saw the people as “rebels” (10), i.e., as reprobate and not as the church.
- Note well that God declares Moses’ attitude and action to be just as rebellious as the people (24).
- Thus he refused to fulfill his God-given calling to mediate for these sinning saints.
- And Moses did not “sanctify Me in the eyes of the children of Israel” (12).
- By despairing of Israel being saved, Moses saw the people only in their sin.
- But God always sees them (and us) in Christ as separated from sin by God’s grace.
- God’s response.
- To Moses and Aaron come consequences (not punishment) because they did not magnify God.
- It “went ill with Moses for their sakes” (Psalm 106:32): not allowed to bring the people into the land of promise.
- Moses was very, very meek, but not meek enough, so we look up to the better: Christ.
- To the people God provided water (cf. I Cor. 10:4 and John 4:14).
- True Israel saw their sin in Moses’ words, repented and in faith drank of Christ’s forgiveness.