Wednesday in the Second Week of Lent

Exodus 17:1-16

Water and the Cross

Yesterday, it was food.  Today, it’s water.  As the people of Israel traveled, they came to Rephidim, and at Rephidim, there was no water.  And just as before, they began to complain to Moses, so much so that he thought they were going to stone him.

We can shake our heads and laugh at these Israelites.  How in the world can they doubt God after the ten plagues he sent on Egypt, parting the Red Sea, and providing bread on the desert floor every morning?  It seems to us that they are a pack of complainers who never learn their lesson: To trust in God.  But isn’t that the way with us?  God takes care of us every day of our lives.  We can look back and see where He was leading and guiding.  And yet, when the first sign of trial comes, we often doubt and falter.

So God tells Moses to pass before the people with his staff in his hand.  There was apparently some conspicuous rock there at Mount Horeb (another name for Mount Sinai).  God said He would stand before Moses while Moses struck the rock.  And then from that rock water flowed.

We can see the obvious miracle here – water flowing from a rock.  But the New Testament sees more going on.  1 Corinthians 10:4 tells us that the Israelites “all drank the same spiritual drink.  For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.”  In the Gospel of John, Jesus cries out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water’” (John 7:37-38).  Moses struck the rock and water came forth from it.  Likewise, as our Lord was struck, living streams of water came forth from him for our salvation.  This happened literally on the cross from his precious side; and, as Adam’s wife came forth from his side, so did the Church come forth from our Lord’s.  Our Lord is the rock; the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, is the water.

And then there is the brief account of the Israelites’ defeat of the Amalekites, who opposed the children of Israel when they came out of Egypt (1 Samuel 15:1-3) and attacked them on the way (Deuteronomy 25:17-19).  As long as Moses held out his arms, Israel prevailed; when he didn’t, Amalek prevailed.  In other words, it was only by the power of the cross that Israel could prevail over Amalek.  Let this be a lesson to us how utterly dependent we are upon the Lord: He is our only source of food, water, and victory in this life.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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