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Types of Christ in the Old Testament

The Rock as a Type of Christ

The Rock in the wilderness was a 'type' of Christ:

Exodus 17:6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. (KJV)

Deut.32:15 But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. (KJV)
Deut.32:18 Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee. (KJV)
Deut.32:31 For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges. (KJV)
Deut.32:37 And he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted, (KJV)
Psalms 18:2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. (KJV)
Psalms 62:6-7 He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. [7] In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. (KJV)
Isaiah 32:2 And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. (KJV)

1 Corinthians 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. (KJV)

Water brought forth from that Rock:
Numbers 20:11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. (KJV)
Deut.8:15 Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint; (KJV)
Psalms 78:15-16 He clave the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths. [16] He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers. (KJV)
Psalms 78:20 Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? can he provide flesh for his people? (KJV)

People have described what is believed to be the Rock struck by Moses. It is a huge block of granite, 15 ft. long, 10 ft. wide and 12 ft. high. It has holes and channels which could have been formed only by the bursting and running out of water. This Rock that Moses struck supplied water for about 600,000 people and their animals. It made NO difference how much unbelief was present, God is NEVER limited by unbelief!

The first thing we should consider is the ROCK which was smitten. The smiting of the Rock speaks of the death of the Lord Jesus. Christ had to descend from Heaven to Earth (as did the manna) if He was to become the Bread of Life to His people; but He had to be smitten by Divine judgment if He was to be the Water of Life to them!

Out from the Smitten Rock came water. This was a beautiful type of the Holy Spirit . . . which is the Gift of the Crucified, now glorified, Saviour. Couldn't this be one reason why the Holy Spirit is said to be "poured out"? Acts 2:18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: (KJV) The Gift of the Holy Spirit resulted upon the crucifixion and exaltation of the Lord Jesus. This is clear from His own words. John 7:37-38 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. [38] He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (KJV) . . . What does the next verse say? John 7:39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) (KJV)

Numbers 20:9-11 And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him. [10] And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? [11] And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. (KJV) . . . WHY??? Did Moses hit that rock twice? The Lord clearly told him to SPEAK to the rock? (Num.20:7-8). The conduct of this great man on this day was hasty and passionate. Psalm 106:33 Because they provoked his spirit, so that he spake unadvisedly with his lips. (KJV) . . . Could this not be a lesson to all of us? WHAT was Moses' punishment?

Numbers 27:12-14 And the LORD said unto Moses, Get thee up into this mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given unto the children of Israel. [13] And when thou hast seen it, thou also shalt be gathered unto thy people, as Aaron thy brother was gathered. [14] For ye rebelled against my commandment in the desert of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify me at the water before their eyes: that is the water of Meribah in Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin. (KJV) . . . The Lord allowed Moses to SEE the Promised Land, BUT he was NOT permitted to enter because of his sin.
Deut. 32:49 Get thee up into this mountain Abarim, unto mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, that is over against Jericho; and behold the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel for a possession: (KJV) . . . Abarim was a mountain range, west of Heshbon. From its summit the wastes of the Dead Sea and the valley of Jordan could be seen. The particular mountain Moses climbed was Nebo, also called Pisgah (Deut. 34:1).

Moses rebelled against the Lord's clear command in the desert of Zin.

Deut.1:37-38 Also the LORD was angry with me for your sakes, saying, Thou also shalt not go in thither. [38] But Joshua the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go in thither: encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it. (KJV)
Psalms 106:32-33 They angered him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses for their sakes: [33] Because they provoked his spirit, so that he spake unadvisedly with his lips. (KJV)
Numbers 20:12 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them. (KJV) Deut. 32:51 Because ye trespassed against me among the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah-Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because ye sanctified me not in the midst of the children of Israel. (KJV) . . . To sanctify means to set apart for a sacred or divine use; to set apart for God. To sanctify God means to set Him apart in one's heart and conduct, OBEYING Him with reverence (1Pet. 3:15).

The LORD told Moses to SPEAK to the rock! Numbers 20:8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink. (KJV)

But, Moses SMOTE IT TWICE! Numbers 20:11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. (KJV) . . . Instead of speaking to the Rock, Moses spoke to the people in a rage.

Even though Moses hit the rock instead of speaking to it, the life giving waters gushed forth from it. This should warn us against that our methods must be right if the Lord is to be pleased with us. Moses’ methods were wrong; but God gave the blessing! This shows us once more, the amazing grace of God. In spite of (not because of) Israel’s murmuring, and in spite of Moses’ disobedience, water was given to them, their every need was supplied (Phil.4:19). Truly, our God is the "God of all grace" (1 Pet.5:10). May we realize this and may our hearts be found in adoring worship of our dear Saviour and Lord, and may we always give Him the honor and glory.

God's amazing provision of drinking water for the Israelites in the midst of a barren wilderness is truly one of the most remarkable miracles of Creation recorded in Scripture. And too, it was NOT a one-time event, but continued to provide water for Israel during the entire 40 years they spent in the desert. God provided daily water just as He provided their daily bread (manna, Ex.16:14-15). 1 Corinthians 10:1-4 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; [2] And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; [3] And did all eat the same spiritual meat; [4] And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. (KJV) . . . God's provision was an act of pure grace on His part, but even after God created the manna for them, the people were about to stone Moses (Ex.17:4). But their complaint was really against God, so God "stood before" Moses as he smote the rock at Horeb, and a great spring of water burst forth.

Exodus 17:6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. (KJV) . . . This is the first mention of the word "rock" in Scripture, and it is very important that the apostle Paul calls this Rock a type of Christ. Just as Moses smote the Rock with the same rod of judgment which he had used to smite the river in Egypt (Ex.7:20; Ex.17:5), so too, Christ had to be "smitten of God" (Isa.53:4) because of our sins, before He could fulfill His Promise: John 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. (KJV) . . . Once our Rock was smitten (crucified and died), the Water of everlasting life was made available freely to all . . . whosoever is wise enough to drink. The very last invitation of the Bible is: Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. (KJV)
John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (KJV)

Only Christ alone is a sinner's justification before God (Rom.5:1). Only through Christ alone can ever have peace with a Holy God. Only by Christ alone can we ever be admitted into the awesome Presence of the Most High, and stand there without fear (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). "We have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him" (Eph.3:12). Only in Christ alone can God be just, and justify the ungodly (Rom. 3:26).

HOW can any mortal, sinful man come before God? WHAT could we ever bring as a plea for acquittal before this Glorious Being, in whose Eyes the very heavens are not clean? WHAT could we ever do, to remove God's wrath from us? Can we ever say that we have done our duty to God? Can we ever say that we have done our duty to our neighbor? Will our prayers? our baptism? our morality? our righteousness (Isa.64:6)? our church going make God look on us favorably? Shall the Almighty Creator God accept us because of ANY of these? NO! NO! NO! Only Christ Jesus alone! Will ANY of these stand up under the all-searching inspection of God's eye? Will ANY of them actually justify us? Will ANY of them carry us clear through Judgment, and get us safely to Heaven? NONE of our righteousnesses, NONE! NO! NO! NO! Only Christ Jesus alone!

We must come in the Name of Jesus! There is NO other way! There is NO pleading any other plea than this: "Christ died on the cross for sinners, and I trust in Him. Christ died for me, and I believe on Him." THAT is our only plea! No living person except the TRUE child of God can give a reasonable account of the hope that is in him. And friend, IF your hope is not Scriptural, not in Christ alone, it is NO hope at all!

The children of Israel journeyed according to the commandment of the Lord, led by the pillar of cloud and fire (Ex.13:21-22; Ex.14:19,24; Num.14:14; Deut.31:15; Neh.9:19), yet they came to a place where there was no water for them to drink. We may be in the way of duty, yet may meet with troubles, which Providence brings us into, for the trial of our faith, and that God may be glorified in our relief. They began to question whether God was with them or not. This is called their "tempting God," which signifies distrust of him after they had received such proofs of his power and goodness. Moses mildly answered them. It is folly to answer passion with passion; that makes bad worse. God graciously appeared to help them. How wonderful the patience and forbearance of God toward provoking sinners! That he might show his power as well as his pity, and make it a miracle of mercy, he gave them water out of a rock. God can open fountains for us where we least expect them. Those who, in this wilderness, keep to God's way, may trust him to provide for them. Also, let this direct us to depend on Christ's grace. The apostle Paul tells us that Rock was Christ, 1Co 10:4, it was a type of Him. Even though the curse of God was justly executed upon our guilty souls, the Son of God is smitten for us. There was an abundant supply of this water in the wilderness. And my friend, no matter how many believers there are, the supply of the Spirit of Christ is abundant for all. The water flowed from the Rock in streams to refresh the wilderness, and the Water of Life flows from Christ (John 4:14; 7:38-39; Rev.21:6; 22:1,17), in the barren wilderness of this world, to refresh parched souls, until we arrive in glory. Please do NOT turn your back on Jesus!

Types of Christ in the Old Testament

Type of Israel, Jonah

Types . . . Eve Bride of Christ

Types of Christ's Death, Coats of Skin

Types of Christ's Death, Old Testament Sacrifices

Types of Christ's Death, Tabernacle

Types of Christ, Adam

Types of Christ, David

Types of Christ, Elijah

Types of Christ, Elisha

Types of Christ, Examples

Types of Christ, Isaac

Types of Christ, Job

Types of Christ and His Resurrection, Jonah

Types of Christ, Joseph

Types of Christ, Melchezidek

Types of Christ, Moses

Types of Christ, the Pillar of Cloud and Fire

Types of Christ, Samson

Types of Christ, the Rock

Types of Christ, the Brazen Serpent

Types of Christ, the Exodus

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