“‘I will stand there before you by the rock of Horeb. Strike the rock and water will come out of it for the people to drink.’ So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel.” (Exodus 17:6 NIV84)
The Israelites had put themselves in an interesting situation with God. In their desire/need for water, they had yet again made demands and quarreled with Moses instead of going to the Lord with their honest petition. They had convinced themselves that they could go to Moses in a disrespectful way and that their approach would have no effect on God. But it did! The way they were treating God’s servant was ultimately the way they were treating the Lord Himself. So, the Lord told Moses to call the elders of Israel, the men of integrity that Moses put in charge of judging the people righteously, to the rock of Horeb. He told Moses to bring his staff and that He (the Lord) would stand next to him. I do not know exactly how the Lord did this, but somehow He appeared side by side with Moses at the rock of Horeb for the Elders to witness. What was God’s message to the Elders? That they better understand that He and Moses were working side by side, and their grumbling with Moses was actually disrespecting Him. And then God did the most amazing thing. He caused water to come from the rock for the people to drink.
Water doesn’t come from rocks. This is impossible! But not for the Lord. Through this miraculous act, He showed the Israelites they would be better off coming directly to Him with their wants and concerns. Second, He showed them that, like the rock, their hard hearts needed to be softened before good could come from them. Boy, isn’t that true for us as well. Like the Israelites, we so often want to bite the hand that feeds us. Our own stubbornness and hard-heartedness gets in the way of our life with the Lord. God alone, through the power of the Holy Spirit, can change our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. Only He can make us born again.
May all that is good flow through us as the Spirit works within us for His good!