And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?  And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people?  They be almost ready to stone me.  Exodus 17:3-4


So the children of Abraham wanted their bottle and were becoming dangerous.  Moses got a solution from The Lord.  The Rod will again become a significant part of their deliverance. 


And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go.  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.  Exodus 17:5-6


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;  And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;  And did all eat the same spiritual meat;  And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.  1 Corinthians 10:1-4


Jesus is the rock that appeared in this Old Testament event!  Remember, he had an earlier appearance in the life of Abraham.  He gave a tithe of offerings to the King of Salem.


And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.  And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:  And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.  Genesis 14: 18-20


This King Melchizedek is recognized later by King David as being his Lord, in the type of the eternal priest, the Messiah. 


The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.  The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.  Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.  The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.  Psa 110: 1-4


This is affirmed again in the New Testament:


So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.  As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.  Hebrews 5:5-6


And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,  Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.  For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.  For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.  For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.  And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest:  (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)  By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.  Hebrews 7:15-22


So we again find an appearance of Jesus the Messiah in the old testament.  It is significant to notice that Moses is instructed to strike (smite) the rock here.  The Rock is to be smitten one time by destiny: 


He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.  Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.  Isaiah 53: 3-5


Jesus was smitten for us, and from this came rivers of living water.  Mankind was instructed to strike their Messiah once for the healing of all of our sins. 


And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?  Exodus 17:7


Now we know that he is with us at all times.  His Spirit is poured out on us to give us testimony of his life within us.  We are washed in the baptism of these living waters.  We should remember that the Lord is with us.  Who can be against us?  (Don’t worry, someone will step up to challenge the Lord soon enough.)


Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.  And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.  Exodus 17: 8-9


Moses has noticed that the rod is involved in their deliverance.  Isaiah will also notice this in the future:


And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:  And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;  Isaiah 11:1-2


Jesus is the vine, and we are the branches.  The messiah is appearing in this scene again.  He has always been our source and deliverance.


So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.  And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.  Exodus 17:10-11


We have victory as long as we are lifting up Jesus.  We have to give him the honor for the victory we gain in life.  If we forget, we steal his honor and become self-promoting.  But we can do more in fellowship than we can alone.  We need to reach up, but we also need to reach the brother beside us in his need.


But Moses hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.  And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.  Exodus 17:12-13


Remember what we read in Isaiah 53?  “we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.”   The rock was smitten by the rod.  Both represent God.  Moses provided the hand of man, representing Israel striking their own God in the flesh.  But it was indeed Messiah being stricken by God!  God had this plan from the beginning.  We have always been provided a path to safety.  He never left us nor forsook us.  He has always been with us, by design.


What exquisite madness that divides good from evil.  This life is no more than the entrance exam for the greater life beyond the veil of death.  God knows our heart, and can discern who has an evil intent.  The critical bridge is simply to accept the free gift of God that his Messiah provided.  He came to us in human weakness to share our experience, and to offer himself as our sacrifice.  We are only required to accept this free gift!


He has made himself invisible and mysterious to proud and violent men.  To the meek he has always been revealed for his mercy.  Evil can not pass his exam, and will never endanger us by gaining power in heaven.  But a weak man who is made righteous in the blood of Jesus has more power than even the angels.  He is already seated in heavenly places.


For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:  That no flesh should glory in his presence.  1 Corinthians 1:26-29


I am beginning to learn about physical fitness after a lifetime of weakness.  I am not even a good student or a leader in society.  Yet I discovered a source of strength many years ago that still amazes me.  I may be weak and foolish to some, but God has chosen me!  More than once I have seen victory when no one thought it was possible.  I have seen evidence that God still fights our battles for us.  There are lots of frail grandmothers who have even more power than me in this spiritual realm.  DO NOT go against a praying granny! 


We receive this by faith, not by works.  But this faith will manifest in the form of good deeds.   Aaron and Hur stepped up to give aid to their pastor.  Someone will rise to leadership, to feed his sheep.  These are the workers of the harvest who our Lord is seeking.  We will see how the Army of The Lord will need leaders soon.