Notes on Numbers 18-20

For the ninth time in the book of Numbers, the children of Israel gathered around again and complained about their situation. This time they were so thirsty that they were wishing the God killed them like he killed the thousands of their friends and family. There are some interesting things to consider in this passage, especially the prophetic “type” of Christ’s crucifixion about 1500 years before it happened.

God instructed Moses and Aaron to “speak ye unto the rock before their eyes, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock” (Num. 20:8).

Moses did not follow these instructions, and instead spoke to the congregation rather than the rock, and “with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly” (Num. 20:10-11).

The rock in this passage is a “type” of Christ. When speaking of Moses and the children of Israel wandering in the wilderness, 1 Corinthians 10:4 says “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”

Furthermore, when talking to the Samaritan woman by the well, Jesus Christ told her “whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14).

When Christ was being beaten (smote) before his crucifixion, his blood poured from his wounds. Water is a “type” of blood. Thus, when the rock (Christ) was smote (beaten and killed) by Moses, water (blood) poured out giving the congregation life (everlasting life).

Notice that Moses struck the rock not once, but twice. Jesus Christ died on the cross ONE TIME for our sins. That’s all that it took. Moses smote the rock TWO TIMES out of anger.

Not only did Moses disobey God by not speaking to the rock (Christ), he went overboard in smiting it two times. The punishment for doing so was that Moses and Aaron would never enter the Promised Land (Num. 20:12).

When the children of Israel (Jacob) arrived at the border of Edom (Esau), the Edomites refused to allow the Israelites passage through the land. Once again we see the ongoing struggle between the children of Israel (Christ) and the children of Esau (Antichrist).

Shortly after the Israelites turned away from Edom, Aaron died and his son, Eleazar, was named the new High Priest.

Like Moses, we often ignore the instruction of God (speak to the rock) and do things our own way (smote the rock). We go overboard in our rebellion (smote the rock TWICE), and take others down with us (Aaron did not smite the rock, yet he was given the same penalty as Moses). When we sin, we affect those around us.

You might enjoy having some drinks at a party, but that can lead to physical or sexual abuse of someone you truly care about. You may enjoy being a “model” and posting sexual photographs to Instagram, but non-Christians will see the behavior of a “Christian” being the same as what they do.

We ALL know someone who rejects Christ because of the actions of “Christians.” Our actions contribute to other people paying the price; in this case, the ultimate price of eternal death and suffering.

Christ wants all of us to drink the water he gives us; the “well of water springing up into everlasting life.” Have you had your thirst quenched? Have you offered Christ’s gift to others?

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