And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield it’s water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals.” Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank. Numbers 20:7-8,11
God’s instructions were clear, “SPEAK to the rock.” Instead Moses struck the rock with his rod. Because of God’s great mercy He still allowed for the water to flow even though Moses had disobeyed His instructions. But the price of Moses’ disobedience was high- he would not be allowed to go into the promised land.
For years this portion of Scripture puzzled me. Why would God punish Moses so severely over one act of disobedience? Wasn’t Moses God’s friend who talked to the Lord face to face? Of all the people that deserved to go into the Promised Land, Moses was surely first in line!
On the surface it seems that Moses committed just a small act of disobedience in a moment of anger. However, his offense was much more serious than one might first realize. God was trying to reveal a “type and shadow” of how we receive from Him today under the New Covenant- and Moses messed that up.
You see in this instance, the rod of Moses represents the cross and the rock represents Jesus (see 1 Corinthians 10:4). Earlier, in Exodus 17:6 God had instructed Moses to STRIKE the rock with his rod so that water would flow. This of course represents Jesus’ death on the cross. Do you remember Jesus’ words just before He died? He said, “It is FINISHED.” His death, ONCE AND FOR ALL, paid for the sin and sickness of the human race, providing forgiveness and healing.
Later, when Israel had another need for water, God gave Moses different instructions. He was not to “STRIKE” the rock for water to flow, this time he was told to “SPEAK” to the rock. You see, Jesus does not need to do anything else about your sin or your sickness! What He did on the cross of Calvary two thousand years ago was enough. He has already done everything that needed to be done for you and I to be forgiven and healed! Today, the way that we receive what Jesus has done for us is by the words of our mouth.
This is exactly what Romans 10:9 means when it says, “That if you will CONFESS WITH YOUR MOUTH the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Sadly, so many Christians are still waiting on God to heal them, not really believing that their healing was already provided on the cross and not understanding that today all they have to do to receive their healing is to confess with their mouth Jesus as their healer.
Confession: I believe that Jesus has paid for my sickness and my disease on the cross. By faith I confess that by His stripes I am healed!