"Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So shall you bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation." (Numbers 20:8)
In the Name of + Jesus. Amen. Words matter, especially God' s words. That' s how Adam and Eve were duped by the devil in the Garden. "Did God really say?" Was God holding out on them? Would He really keep a tree with such desirable fruit from their eating?
Moses had the same trouble in the wilderness. God' s command was clear: "Tell the rock to bring out water." Not "strike the rock twice despite God' s promise." It wasn' t as if God' s Word and promise needed any help from Moses. God' s promise was sufficient. But Moses didn' t listen.
Moses was guilty of the same thing Adam and Eve were. And the same thing we are: doubting God' s Word. The devil, the world and our sinful nature have expert opinions when it comes to God' s Word and His promises. Trouble is, none of them are true. Words matter, especially God' s.
Think about it. Did God say, "I sent my only begotten Son to die for you, now here' s what you have to do?" No. God' s Word is clear. Christ died for you apart from anything you did or didn' t do for Him.
Did God say, "Baptism is just a symbol of your inner commitment to Jesus?" No. God' s Word is clear. Baptism now saves you. Repent and believe and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins.
God' s Word is equally clear on the Lord' s Supper. Did Jesus say, "This represents my body and my blood?" No. This is my body … this is my blood, shed for you for the forgiveness of your sins.
God' s Word was clear for Moses and it' s clear for you. Moses struck that rock in sin and doubt. But where Moses, Adam, Eve and you have committed sin, Jesus has taken it into Himself. According to St. Paul, Jesus is the rock that was struck (1 Corinthians 10:4). God' s staff is raised against Him on the cross, for you.
Christ the rock is struck with your sin and out pours water and blood. He brings forth His water to fill the font and His blood to give drink to the congregation. In the Name of + Jesus. Amen.
Spirit, water, blood entreating, Working faith and its completing In the One whose death defeating Life has come, with life for all. (LSB 597:5)
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, email@example.com.