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From A Stone

October 11, 2012

“Stream!”, Photo by Jon Sullivan (“jons”), Source

“Then 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 its water…’ ” (Num. 20: 7-8).

“You can’t get blood from a stone.”  It is an idiomatic phrase we have heard countless times.  There is more than a hint of anger conveyed by the expression.  The source, in other words, is unyielding or has been bled dry.

“You can’t get blood from a stone.”  Why would anyone try to get blood from a stone?  How could that even to be done?  Surely, the outcome is a foregone conclusion.

Short of water for thousands of thirsty people he had led into the desert, Moses must have thought the same.  “Why did you make us leave Egypt?” they whined.  “Why did you bring us to this evil place to die?” they complained to him.

Weary, angry, doubtful, Moses struck the rock twice and water gushed out.  Yet for this disobedience, for this failure of faith, he was barred from the Promised Land after decades of faithful service.  Wait!  Hadn’t Moses just performed a miracle?  Why did God treat him so harshly?

God had instructed Moses to speak to the rock.  It was Moses who took it upon himself to strike the rock.  Wasn’t that a distinction without a difference? The difference lay in the picture of God Moses’ actions conveyed.  God wished to demonstrate that the merest request to Him for relief would bring forth water from a stone.  Moses’ use of his rod suggested that we must “bang on God’s door” before being heard.

“You can’t get blood from a stone.”  Remember that Moses had spoken with God face to face; that Moses had witnessed the plagues of Egypt and the Israelites’ release from bondage; that Moses had seen the Red Sea parted.  He had every reason to believe.

Instead, the picture Moses presented was of the flinty heart of mankind.

It would take another Rock (Matt. 7: 25) and living water (John 4: 10) to cleave that heart of stone in us, and replace it with a heart of flesh (Ezek. 36: 26).  It would take a Rock willing to bleed for us, willing to lay down His life.

That we might live.

READERS CAN FIND MY VIEWS ON ABUSE AND ABUSE-RELATED ISSUES AT ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse  http://www.avoicereclaimed

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