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From A Stone

February 26, 2017

“Moses Striking the Rock in the Desert”, wall painting in an early Christian catacomb, Author Leinad-Z (PD)

“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.

Originally posted 10/11/12

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

From → Christian, Faith, Religion

13 Comments
  1. This is so good, Anna, as always–and reflects what I’ve learned too. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Pastor Joseph Prince (New Creation Church, Singapore), but I have gained MUCH from his teaching–and he states what you’ve said here, that God was most displeased with Moses for reflecting HIM in a bad light. I had not understood that years ago–and Pastor Prince teaches it as a warning to believers, that if they’re in a church where the pastor presents God harshly, they should make a hasty exit and pray HE leads them to a church of Grace. The preachers of “yesterday” were very comfortable with a “mean God”, though I can’t imagine why…I’m so thankful I’ve come to know the Lord whose love, mercy and compassion draw all men–and especially the scores of wounded–to HIM. May God bless you most abundantly this coming week ❤

  2. Excellent insight Anna.

  3. Profoundly interesting insight, Anna ❤
    I never realized the difference when Moses struck the rock,
    as opposed to following God's instruction to speak to it!
    Plus, linking that with Jesus being the rock willing to bleed
    living water for our salvation… So good! 🙂 💜 Jackie@KWH

    • Thanks, Jackie! I’m not sure I deserve much credit. I was likely inspired by a sermon or explanatory Bible footnote. ❤ 🙂 ❤

      • Ah yes, but good to grow with the flow of inspiration through repetition! 🙂 💜 Jackie@KWH

      • I learn so much from Christian brothers and sisters like you, Jackie. I fear I am sometimes too critical commenting on other blogs. 😦 God is still working on me. ❤

      • Me too, Anna ❤ Honoured to simply be one of God's vessels "under construction" alongside Christian brothers and sisters, like you. Any worthy work stemming from me is because of Him! 🙂 💜 Jackie@KWH

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