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Bible Pathways 02/21/2002

February 21

Read Numbers 19 -- 20

In Today's Reading:

How gloriously Christ is typified twice in today's reading. In contrast it is disappointing to read that prominent leaders sin but like everyone they pay a heavy price. Read Numbers 20:12. You will discover two deaths foretold. A nation seals its own fate. Why?

Verses for Today:

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying . . . speak to the rock. . . .And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly (Numbers 20:7-8).


The red heifer sacrifice for purification; Miriam's death; Israel's complaint of no water; Moses struck the rock twice; water from the rock; Edom refuses passage to Israel; Aaron's death.

During the first year of Israel's journey in the wilderness at Rephidim, God had commanded Moses to strike the rock and an abundance of water came out (Exodus 17:1-6). The water that gushed out of the rock was satisfying water to the Israelites. However, the New Testament reveals its spiritual significance: For they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4).

Now, 38 years later, The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Take the rod, and gather the assembly together, you, and Aaron your brother, and speak to the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth water, and you shall bring forth water out of the rock; so you shall give the congregation . . . to drink (Numbers 20:7-8). Instead, Moses . . . struck the rock twice (with his rod) and the water came out abundantly (20:11). It may have seemed insignificant to Moses when he disobeyed the Lord, but from God's viewpoint it implied that our Lord's one sacrifice on the cross was not enough to provide eternal life. As Jesus said: The water that I shall give . . . shall be in him, a well of water springing up into everlasting life (John 4:14).

Perhaps equally sinful, Moses had said: Must we fetch you water out of this rock (Numbers 20:10). By saying we, Moses implied that his efforts as well as those of God were necessary to provide the water. It illustrates the fact that no one can take any credit -- not even Moses -- for providing our salvation. For by grace you are saved through faith and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).

As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one. . . . For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:10). But this means that Jesus, the sinless Son of God took our place and died for our sins. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become sons of God (John 1:12).

Jesus' death on the cross provides for our spiritual new birth into the family of God. We then become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust (2 Peter 1:4).

As we pray that Christ will live out His life in us, we will express humility, patience, love, and everything else that reveals His character. As the Apostle Paul wrote: I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20).

A Thought from Proverbs: There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (14:12; 16:25).

Christ Revealed:

Through the rock that was struck (Numbers 20:8-11). Christ is our Rock Who was struck once through His death on the cross for all who repent of their sins and trust Him to be theri Savior (see 1 Corinthians 10:4; Romans 6:10).

Word Studies:

19:18 hyssop = a bushy plant used for cleansing; 20:3 chode = argued; 20:12 sanctify me = hold Me in supreme reverential honor; 20:13 strove = contended; 20:14 travail = painful hardships; adversity; 20:15 vexed = afflicted, dealt harshly.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. John Lewis (GA), Rep. John Shimkus (IL), and Sen. Olympia Snowe (ME) · Pray for President George W. Bush · Country: Sweden (9 million) in northern Europe · Major language: Swedish · Religious freedom · 66% Protestant; 2% Roman Catholic; .7% Eastern Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Ask for forgiveness for particular sins (Psalms 51:1-9).

Optional Reading: Luke 8

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:10

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