He opened the rock, and water gushed out;
like a river, it ﬂowed in the desert.
That is a picture of God’s provision for His people Israel in the forty years of their wandering in the desert. It was a dry and barren land where there were no rivers, no streams, no pools, and where water was almost nonexistent. Yet God provided water for them in abundance. He provided it in a most unlikely way: out of a rock.
When you look at a rock in the desert, as I have done countless times, it seems hard and unyielding. What good could possibly come of it? In the disguise of the rock, however, we understand that God Himself was with the people; “for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:4). God Himself was the rock and out of Himself, there came provision for His people in abundance.
It was important, too, that Israel knew how to approach the rock. At one time Moses was commanded to strike it. At another time he was commanded to speak to it. Each time he approached it in faith and obedience, out of that seemingly barren and unfriendly rock gushed an abundance of water, which ﬂowed like a river in the desert.
It is often so in our lives. We ﬁnd ourselves in a time of barrenness when provision seems lacking. Yet God is there. He is there in the form of a rock—something that seems hard and unyielding, something we might be tempted to turn away from. But when we recognise God in it and approach Him in faith and obedience, then the rock becomes the source of our provision.
Teach me, Lord, to recognise You in the rock and to approach You aright.
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