Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. (Numbers 20:11)
When six-year-old Melinda disobeyed me in church, my anger flared. I brought her home, got out a wooden spoon, bent her over my knee, and yes, I paddled her. Twice … if I remember correctly. Then the spoon flew across the room. I swear Melinda’s guardian angel intervened before I became an abusive mother. To this day, I carry the bitter shame and remorse for my actions that day. Nothing that child did warranted a wooden-spoon spanking. Although God instructs us to discipline our children—whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them (Proverbs 13:24 emphasis mine), I had gone too far.
Likewise, Moses had gone too far when he struck the rock twice with his staff. Yes, he got the desired results, but not without punishment. This was the second time God answered the Hebrews’ murmuring by producing water from a rock. The first time is recorded in Exodus 17:1-7.
Here are some of the differences between the two occurrences:
Hide me in the cleft of the rock. Study Exodus 33:18-23.
See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks