Moses and Aaron made the people come together in front of the rock, and
he said to them, “Give ear now, you people whose hearts are turned from
the Lord; are we to get water for you out of the rock?”
And lifting up his hand, Moses gave the rock two blows with his rod: and water came streaming out, and the people and their cattle had drink enough. Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you had not enough faith in me to keep my name holy before the children of Israel, you will not take this people into the land which I have given them.” (Numbers 20:10-12, Bible in Basic English)
Woe to the Lord’s servant who strikes the rock!
“Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45) When we strike the rock, our action betrays our hearts.
What characterizes the heart of a rock-striker? Several things: impatience, frustration, impulsiveness. All of these spell lack of faith in God. We take matters into our own hands, because we feel that God is not dealing adequately with the situation.
Many if not most of the Bible’s heros have “struck the rock”. Abraham sired Ishmael, because no son appeared to be forthcoming. Jacob swindled Isaac, because it seemed Esau would get Isaac’s blessing. Saul offered a preemptive sacrifice, because Samuel took so long to come. David ravished Bathsheba, blinded by hot-blooded desire. In each of these cases, ‘striking the rock’ had serious, awful consequences. Moses’ ministry was terminated early. Saul’s anointing was removed. Abraham and David (and their families) reaped trouble, sorrow, and death.
Three times Satan tempted
Jesus to “strike the rock”: first, to make bread, rather than to
wait upon His Father; second, to presume upon God’s protection and grace;
and third, to obtain power immediately through Satan, rather than through
suffering and death on the Cross. Jesus refused them all – and thus
“God highly exalted Him, and gave Him a Name above every other name” (Philippians
Prayer: Father, only by the grace of Your Spirit within us may we refuse the temptation, and refrain from ‘striking the rock’. May Your Spirit be strong in us, that we may be strong to resist temptation. I pray in the name of Jesus Your Son, Lord over all things, who resisted all temptation and whose example Your Spirit enables us to imitate.
Copyright © 2002 CrossPollen
Last Revised: October 16, 2002
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