Biblical Interpretation from Someone with no Training in Biblical Interpretation
In the last article we looked at Jesus’ ability to purify our lives through his work on the cross. While typing that article up, the Holy Spirit called my attention to some additional Scriptures I had written down in my notes. Basically he was telling me that there was more left to tell; so that’s what we’re doing today.
Alright, following the same format as last time, let’s first establish the background story. History records,
But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?”
Then Moses cried out to the Lord, “What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.”
The Lord answered Moses, “Walk on ahead of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink. So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel (Exodus 17:3-6).
The Israelites had been wandering through the desert, but they were dying of thirst (and getting quite vocal about it). Therefore God told Moses to hit a rock with his stick; he did and water came out.
We need. As humans on a cursed world, we always have lack. You eat, but a couple hours later you’re hungry again. You drink, but later are thirsty. And there’s no need to go into all of our selfish wants and how fleeting their joys are. The answer to our needs is always the same source though, the Lord. Jesus taught,
So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:31-33).
And he backed it up by saying a few verses earlier,
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (Matthew 6:25-26)
The problem, though, is that’s not how humans operate. We kick against God and worry and stress as we try to fill our lack through the ways of the world.
That’s why this story is so cool. The rocks of the desert, the very things the Israelites were cursing as they wandered through the desert became their deliverer through the Lord. Being a Christian isn’t really popular anymore; people think religion is stupid and they feel intellectually superior worshipping man through evolution and atheism. But they still lack. People lack their basic needs, they lack direction, and they even lack of knowledge of who they are. How many different kinds of gender or sexual preference do we have now? I’m not trying to be a dick about it; but just seeing so many people lost in their own identity is heart-breaking. And still they turn their nose up at God.
And yet, that very lack may lead them to the source of all things. A woman needed water (and identity, honestly), so she went to a well. When she arrived there she found Jesus (literally, it’s a Bible story). John 4:13-14 records what he said to her,
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Jesus wasn’t speaking about literal water, but about his ability to fill your lack when you come to him. Will you still get hungry or thirsty as a Christian? Of course, the world is cursed; but God will fulfill our needs and Jesus will fill the lack biggest lack in our lives: our need to be alive, really alive. In John 6:35 we find, “Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.’” Through belief in Jesus we gain eternal life, a limitless life that will not end when our time on earth does but will continue for all eternity. That’s the water of Christ flowing out of the ultimate lack; for from his death came our eternal life. Death gave us life and a rock gave the Israelites water. Surely nothing is impossible with our Lord!
Rock on God!