“Adonai answered Moshe, “Go on ahead of the people, and bring with you the leaders of Israel. Take your staff in your hand, the one you used to strike the river; and go. I will stand in front of you there on the rock in Horeb. You are to strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so the people can drink.” Moshe did this in the sight of the leaders of Israel.”-Exodus 17:5-6
Moses brings the leaders of Israel followed by the people to an imposing boulder located in a place called Horeb.
At the Lord’s command, Moses strikes this rock with his staff resulting in an instantaneous and miraculous outpouring of water.
This is actually the second time God ordered Moses to strike something with his staff and both times this “striking” was connected to water.
The first time was when he struck the Nile River back in Egypt transforming the water into a bloody red color, rendering it undrinkable.
And the second time is here in chapter 17 when he struck the rock at Mount Horeb.
Notice how Moses staff, which is really God’s staff of authority in Moses’s hands, has a dual nature.
Back in Egypt, Moses used the staff as an instrument of judgement to bring wrath upon a people who were not his.
On the other hand, here at Mount Horeb, this SAME staff is used to provide mercy and salvation to a people who ARE His.
This reveals an important but sometimes difficult to accept attribute of our Lord.
It is the SAME God who brings about BOTH good and evil, blindness and revelation, darkness and illumination, destruction and salvation, and peace and depression.
For those who surrender to God, they will receive His Shalom.
For those who rebel, calamity and unrest will be the result.
What is awesome about this event at Horeb is that on both a physical and spiritual level, it is completely connected to the crucifixion of Yeshua.
Who is called the rock of our salvation that was stricken for our sins so that living water would pour forth from Him for the salvation of His people?
Recall we are told that when Yeshua’s body on the cross was thrust with that Roman spear, real physical water poured out of him.
There is a direct connection between this event at Horeb and the Crucifixion at Calvary.
There is one final mind blowing connection between Moses “striking” the rock at Horeb and Yeshua being “struck” for our sins that I want to share with you and it can ONLY BE SEEN IN THE ORIGINAL HEBREW.
Moses used his staff to strike the rock at Horeb as he struck the Nile back in Egypt.
The Hebrew word for “to strike” here is NACHAH.
This word literally means “to hit” or “to deliver a blow”.
However, here’s the thing.
This word would NEVER be used to describe an emotionless, neutral act of “hitting”, like “hitting a nail” with a hammer for instance.
Implied in the meaning of NACHAH is to attack with the purpose of harming or even killing.
And the ancient Rabbis have wondered for centuries, why in the world would this word, which carries with it a sense of striking to harm, be used in this context?
Because you can’t really “harm” or “kill” and inanimate object like a rock!
The word NACHAH embodies an aura of viciousness and murderous violence.
It seems totally inappropriate for this setting here at Mount Horeb.
Yet this word is used.
Again, the answer lies in the answer to the question “Who was stricken with malice and violence for our transgressions?”
Minus the connection of what would happen to our Our Rock, Yeshua, the use of this Hebrew word NACHAH makes no sense in this context.