Striking & Speaking To The Rock (Christ)
It was near the end of the 40 years wilderness journey. This time God instructed Moses to speak to the rock. Yet, Moses did not speak, but struck the rock twice. God did not instruct him to strike it, but to speak to it.
The spiritual significance is “to speak to the rock.” Jesus (the Rock) is the Living Word of God. When a believer speaks the word, rivers of living water will naturally flow from the heart. John 7:37-38 – “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him com unto me, and drink. He that believeth on Me. As the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water”.
Therefore, the speaking to the rock represents the Resurrected Christ. Moses did not see nor believe this. He struck the rock, still seeing it as the crucified Christ. In other words, he left Christ on the cross. As a result, his unbelief in the Resurrected Christ kept him from entering Canaan, the true rest in the love of God. Water did come out abundantly when he struck the rock twice.
However, it was only sustaining water, not satisfying. Why? Because they were still living in the wilderness. Water in the wilderness only sustains the carnal Christian to hang in there, to give his best of self-effort for Jesus. Water in the land (Canaan) totally satisfies the Christian who has entered because he enters into the rest and love of Christ. He rests from all His self-effort. His rest now becomes the activity of Christ through him. It is an active rest in His activity, far from a passive rest.
Well, brethren, Christ in not on the cross today. He is risen, resurrected, and residing in all believers. By speaking the word, Christ will live the Christian life through the believer; because only Christ can live the Christian life. It is not difficult to grasp this invaluable, spiritual truth.
Viewing this from Moses’ approach, he only lived ½ a gospel by leaving Christ on the cross. He had the faith to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt; but not the faith to lead them into Canaan. The sad point is it is the same faith. No job is ever too big for God.
By living only ½ a gospel, Moses did only ½ a job. That was Moses’ error. However, the full, true gospel is the finished work of the death AND resurrection of Jesus Christ. Therefore, Moses died at a young age (Deuteronomy 34:7 – “… he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated”). What a sad end to a young life! Moses died young and was buried in the desert, on the wrong side of Jordan. He missed the full love and joy of resting in God.
How about you, brethren? Are you only living ½ a gospel? By striking the rock, Moses struggled through his own self-effort to produce the resurrected, Christian life. Moses here represents the carnal Christian, the redeemed Christian who, unfortunately, does his best for God through his own self-effort. Like the children of Israel living in the wilderness, the carnal Christian only walks in circles with his only mindset being the crucified Christ. He always ‘confesses and repents’ the same sin(s) – even if they are only thoughts. He answers every altar call laying the sins on the altar (the crucified Christ), but has absolutely no strength to overcome these same sins.
There is no resurrection power of Christ flowing from him, no evidence of the indwelling Christ. He lives only ½ a gospel – the crucified Christ. The only result is life in the wilderness – dumped in the desert. How exciting! (Forgive my sarcasm.) What a very sad place to live!
I confidently say this from my own personal experience of life in the wilderness. The wilderness is the only place for the carnal Christian to live – dumped in the desert. He will die there also, just like Moses, unless he permits the Holy Spirit to show him and teach him the full gospel – the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Then he will truly enter the land and rest in the love and grace of God. This is ordained by God to be the normal Christian life, as God created man to live.