3 And the people contended with Moses, and said, Would that we had died when our brethren died [in the plague] before the Lord!
4 And why have you brought up the congregation of the Lord into this wilderness, that we should die here, we and our livestock?
5 And why have you made us come up out of Egypt to bring us into this evil place? It is no place of grain or of figs or of vines or of pomegranates. And there is no water to drink.
6 Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the door of the Tent of Meeting and fell on their faces. Then the glory of the Lord appeared to them.
7 And the Lord said to Moses,
8 Take the rod, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to give forth its water, and you shall bring forth to them water out of the rock; so you shall give the congregation and their livestock drink.
9 So Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as He commanded him.
10 And Moses and Aaron assembled the congregation before the rock and Moses said to them, Hear now, you rebels; must we bring you water out of this rock?
11 And Moses lifted up his hand and with his rod he smote the rock [a]twice. And the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock.
12 And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, Because you did not believe in (rely on, cling to) Me to sanctify Me in the eyes of the Israelites, you therefore [b]shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
13 These are the waters of Meribah [strife], where the Israelites contended with the Lord and He showed Himself holy among them.
Numbers 20:11“And the Rock was Christ,” as I Cor. 10:4 explains. Once smitten at Rephidim (Exod. 17:6ff.), He did not need to be smitten, crucified, again. To smite the rock twice was to imply that Christ’s death on the cross was not effectual or sufficient for time and eternity.
Numbers 20:12Possibly Moses was not aware of the significance of what he had been ordered to do, but nevertheless God held him responsible for not obeying Him exactly. Obedience to His will is vitally important, whether we understand His purpose or not. The motto “God’s will: nothing more; nothing less; nothing else; at any cost” would have been priceless to Moses and Aaron that day, if they had only followed it.
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