As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
Imagine yourself in the desert with millions of people, all in search of water. The search lasts three days, when at last you reach a water source, but it’s bitter! What a disappointment! Your throat is burning with thirst… but drinking bitter water? No way! That’s worse than not drinking water at all!
That’s what the Israelites experienced in the desert. They started complaining against Moses. It was no small thing to deal with thirsty people. It has been estimated that the water supply they needed on a daily basis represents 300 train tank wagons. This was not weekly or monthly, but daily! They would have needed 30 train wagons with food, but God sent bread from heaven to supply that need. God also watched over his people to give them water.
When they reached Marah, and the waters were bitter, God showed Moses a piece of wood that would heal the waters. When he threw it in the waters, the water became sweet. After Marah they arrived at Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees. What a refreshing place in the desert heat!
Today’s story is about the rock that accompanied Israel, the rock from which water gushed out. Paul writes in a letter to the church in Corinth that the spiritual rock that followed them was Christ (1 Corinthians 10:1-5). The incident that I cover in today’s story shows the faithfulness of God, even though his servant was unfaithful. Even though we are unfaithful, the Lord remains faithful (2 Timothy 2:11-13). How precious!
God wanted to show the people his glory, but Moses was overcome by anger. That can happen to anyone, especially if someone is under the pressure that Moses felt.
Once again the people were thirsty and there was no water. But there was a rock! God had already given them water from that rock, when Moses hit it. This time God told him to speak to the rock and water would gush forth. But anger overtook him, and Moses hit the rock, twice! God was faithful and gave water to his people. But Moses paid the consequences of his disobedience. He and his brother Aaron would not be allowed to enter the Promised Land.
It may seem a cruel punishment for the man who bore the burden of leading that rebellious people for forty years to the land of promise. The rock that accompanied them was Christ. On the cross Jesus was wounded and beaten to give us the water of life. We just have to “speak” to let the rivers of water flow in our hearts.
Are you thirsty? There are springs of living water. “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Psalm 42:1,2).
May we daily thirst for God and seek more and more of Jesus.
To expand on this topic, read:
John 4:13,14; 6:35; 7:37,38; Isaiah 55:1; Matthew 5:6; Revelation 21:6; 22:17.
Texts for today’s theme: Exodus 15:22-27; 17:1-7; Numbers 20:1-13.
I have a testimony that has to do with the verse that I have chosen for today’s story. It happened in 1975, when our little family had moved to Chaclacayo, in Peru. My brother Lasse and his friend Marco (my assistant Cristina’s father) were helping us paint the rooms. There was a problem, a very short supply of water. One morning, in our devotional time, we read the passage from Exodus 23:20-25. I hadn’t noticed before the promise in those verses, but when we came to verse 25, I jumped up and cried out in excitement, because of the words that God would bless our bread and our “water.” I took it personally, and during the time we lived in that house, we had the water we needed!
Are you thirsty? Jesus is the great spring of living water. Whoever comes to him will never thirst again!
Welcome to read the Great Escape story #13: Water from a Rock
I am sad to inform you that our beloved artist Absalom did not recover from the infection he had and moved from the hospital to his heavenly home. Thank you for your prayers. He will be greatly missed. Some plans will have to change but the Lord will continue to lead this ministry and provide the help I need, no doubt about that. Please pray for Absalom’s family in Costa Rica.