Moses' staff was used explicitly by God in the judgment of Egypt. The staff was: 1) turned into a serpent, 2) used to strike the water of the Nile to turn it to blood, 3) stretched out to make the frogs come upon the land, 4) used to strike the dust, so it became gnats, 5) stretched toward heaven to bring thunder, hail and fire, 6) stretched out to bring the locusts on the east wind, and 7) lifted to divide the sea. Now God instructs Moses to use the staff to strike the rock and provide water for the people of Israel. The LORD said in Exodus 17:6, "Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.”
Since the LORD was standing on the rock as Moses struck it, how could the staff strike the rock without striking the LORD? Is this use of the staff an exception or is it still used as an instrument of judgment?
Numbers 20:2-13 provided another instance when there was no water for the people, and God instructs Moses to take his staff, assemble the people and tell the rock to yield its water. However, instead of speaking to the rock, Moses struck it twice. Verse twelve is God’s judgment upon Moses for failing to follow His command, "And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 'Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.'"
1 Corinthians 10:1-4 tells us the Rock from which the people drank was Christ, "For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ." This Rock only needed to be struck once. Jesus' one-time sacrifice, being struck, was sufficient to provide living water. (John 4:13-14) When Moses struck the rock, rather than just speaking, symbolically he was striking Jesus twice.
LORD Jesus Christ, You are the Rock. You alone are the spring of living water which provides eternal life. Thank You for allowing Yourself to be struck for me. Thank You for the gift of living water.
Throughout the Bible, there are many descriptive names given to the church. This passage has two of my favorites. The first is, "those who are considered worthy to attain.....to the resurrection from the dead" and the second is similar, "sons of the resurrection."
As is often the case, this thought leads to another passage. 1 Peter 1:3-5, speaking of the resurrection, has several other descriptions of the church. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."
Anytime you see a pronoun for the church, the chosen, those who believe, or followers of Jesus (like in 1 Peter 1:3-5 the pronouns us and you), look for the description of the pronoun for that group. For believers, Scripture is explaining the depth of the promise and hope we have as part of Christ Jesus' bride!