Moses Breaks a Model

How did Moses wreck a model of Christ in the wilderness wanderings?  What was the consequence of his actions?

Whenever you start feeling down about yourself, remember Moses.  He started out a basket case (Exodus 2).

Moses did start out with an assortment of challenges, but he was raised and educated as a member of Egyptian royalty (Acts 7:22) until he killed someone and ran for it (Acts 7:28, Exodus 2:12).  Forty years later, he returned and got Israel out of slavery (Acts 7:30, Exodus Ch. 3-13).  It’s a very familiar story made even more familiar by Charlton Heston.

After this, Moses held a position of great honor.  He spoke directly with God, received the law and led somewhere around 2 million or so Jewish folks toward the Promised Land*.  Then something shocking happens.  After 40 years of serving as the leader of all these people, Moses didn’t get to go into the Promised Land.  God let him see it, but he couldn’t enter (Deuteronomy 34:4).  Why not?

Go to Numbers 20:7-13.  God told Moses to talk to the rock to get water for the people.  Instead of talking to the rock, he smacked the snot out of it.  The water still came forth, but God was not amused.  As a result of his great displeasure, he forbid Moses and Aaron to enter the promised land.  Ouch.

So how does this wreck a model of Christ?  Well, you need the first half of the model.  Go to Exodus 17:6-7.  There, Moses was told to smack a rock to get water.  He did as he was told, and water spewed forth.

Who is the Rock?  Paul tells us that it was Christ in 1 Corinthians 10:4.  So if Christ is the Rock, the first time they encounter the rock, God tells Moses to hit it to get the life-giving water.  The second time, Moses is supposed to just talk to the rock to get the water.

Christ was struck down for our transgressions the first time to secure our redemption.  Now, we need only speak to him and ask to be redeemed.

Moses, because he was ticked off about the annoying, grumbling Israelites, hit the rock the second time instead of talking to it, so God forbid Moses to enter the Promised Land.  He broke the model, but God still accomplished his will.


*In Numbers 1:46, we find that at the end of the wanderings, less the Levites, there were 603,550 men of fighting age.  Assume roughly one female of the same age for each guy, add in the Levites (22,000 males … see Number 3:39).  Double that to account for girlie people, then add in probably another 500,000 for kids under 20 in all the non-Levitical tribes and you get…  1.75 Million… and that’s probably a short estimate since most families have more than one kid.


2 thoughts on “Moses Breaks a Model

  1. Yes, I have heard this explained this way as well. Really gives some good insight into why it was such a bad thing for Moses to do. He wreaked the symbolism of Christ offered once. Good writing! Have followed and enjoyed all your blog posts and the insight they provide. 🙂


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