Hello and welcome to season 2 episode 49 of The Berean Manifesto, brought to you by The Ekklesian House.  This is Pastor Bill and over the next 10 minutes or so we are going to be continuing our series looking at Jesus In The Old Testament.  If you missed the last episode we kicked off this series looking at Jesus’ claim recorded in John 8:56 that Abraham had seen the day of Jesus and rejoiced in it tracing that moment back to Genesis 22 where Abraham is stopped by none other than Jesus from sacrificing Isaac his only legitimate son.  Which paints a telling picture of what Christ’s role is in the grand scheme of things.


In this, the second entry of this series we are going to look at Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 10:1-4, [1] Now I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud, all passed through the sea, [2] and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. [3] They all ate the same spiritual food, [4] and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ.”  That spiritual food was manna, a very much physical, tangible thing which interestingly enough the name of which literally means:

מָן mân mawn From H4100; literally a whatness (so to speak), that is, manna (so called from the question about it): - manna.

Or, “What is it?”  So since that spiritual food was a physical tangible thing, we’re going to talk about that water and the Rock it came out of that was Christ, because it seems this too is a physical thing.


In Isaiah 48:21 Isaiah talks about this rock too, it says, “[21] They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts; he made water flow from the rock for them; he split the rock, and water gushed out.”  Twice the Bible records in the Journey of The Israelites through the desert Moses striking a rock to get water for the Israelites. Let’s read them. Exodus 17:4-7, “[4] Then Moses cried out to the LORD, “What should I do with these people? In a little while they will stone me!” [5] The LORD answered Moses, "Go on ahead of the people and take some of the elders of Israel with you. Take the staff you struck the Nile with in your hand and go. [6] I am going to stand there in front of you on the rock at Horeb; when you hit the rock, water will come out of it and the people will drink." Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. [7] He named the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites complained, and because they tested the LORD, saying, “Is the LORD among us or not?””  Which, honestly, that’s kind of a silly question. They’re literally being led by a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night and they’re asking, “Is the Lord among us?”
and now also

Numbers 20:9-13, “[9] So Moses took the staff from the LORD's presence just as he had commanded him. [10] Moses and Aaron summoned the assembly in front of the rock, and Moses said to them, "Listen, you rebels! Must we bring water out of this rock for you?" [11] Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with his staff, so that abundant water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. [12] But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not trust me to demonstrate my holiness in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this assembly into the land I have given them." [13] These are the Waters of Meribah, where the Israelites quarreled with the LORD, and he demonstrated his holiness to them.”

So which rock is it that is Christ?  What if I told you they are actually the same rock even though if you track their progress through the desert you’ll see these two events happened at different locations.  What did Isaiah and Paul say? Isaiah said they didn’t go thirsty during their time in the desert. For forty years they wandered a desert and didn’t go thirsty. And Paul said that the rock they drank from followed them.  Now before you shut me down on this next part, keep in mind that you believe that the Red Sea was parted by an East wind creating a dry path for the Israelites to cross with the water rushing back into place when the Egyptians tried to cross while chasing the Israelites.  You also believe that a pillar of fire led the Israelites by night and a pillar of cloud led them by the day. None of which sounds logical.


There are these commentaries written by Jewish rabbis combining the oral tradition of the stories surrounding the Torah with the deeper interpretations of each letter, word, and phrase that falls between the lines to the untrained eye.  These commentaries are called midrash, and there are two different kinds: midrash aggadah, and midrash halachah. Aggadah deals with narratives, ethics, and theology, while halachah deals with law and religious practice.


One midrash aggadah tells the story of Miriam’s Well.  According to the story when the people moved on from Horeb the streams they had been drinking that were coming from rock that Moses struck dried up.  Then the rock itself that had been providing them with water flipped up on one side being shaped like a sieve and followed the Israelites rolling through the desert.  When they would set up camp in a new location the rock would bury itself a short distance outside the camp.


Miriam would then lead the elders to the location the rock was buried and they would sing, “Rise up, O well,” and the rock would rise up to the surface and begin producing streams of water again.  This would continue every time they moved to a new location. The rock would up and follow them, bury itself, Miriam would lead them to where the rock was and the elders would summon it forth with their song.


This continued, at least until Miriam died, at which point the rock stopped giving them water.  This is where we find ourselves at Numbers 20 with the people freaking out and throwing a fit that there’s nothing pleasant to eat and now they don’t have water anymore either.  This makes Moses angry and despite God telling him to speak to the rock to get the water flowing again, Moses hits the rock twice, the water does in fact start gushing, after which God informs Moses that he will not be allowed to lead the people into the promised land they’ve been traveling towards for forty years because of his distrust of God.


Paul says Jesus was that rock, this source of abundant streams of life giving water that followed the Israelites through the desert. This rock that poured forth the blessings of God for His people.  And when Jesus came in the flesh, instead of speaking life into His ministry, the leaders of the people struck the rock again. But the life-giving, abundant waters sprung forth anyway. 


This is Pastor Bill saying, “Until next time…”

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