Reflections: February 1, 2021
Monday of Septuagesima
By Jacob Ehrhard
"Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink." (Exodus 17:6a)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Moses' staff did some pretty phenomenal things. It turned into a snake. It turned the Nile into blood. It divided the waters of the Red Sea. And here in Exodus 17 it draws water from a rock.
It was not the staff, of course, that did all these things. There's a little detail that's easy to pass by if you aren't careful. God says, "Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock." The Lord makes water come from the dry rock, not Moses or his staff. (This got Moses in trouble later on when he took it upon himself to do the same thing again but without God.)
The Lord Himself stands on the rock and gives His people a drink. Paul interprets this and takes it one step further. "All drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ" (1 Corinthians 10:4). Jesus Himself, prior to His incarnation, stood on that rock at Horeb.
The water quenched their thirst, but something more happened on that rock. They got a spiritual drink as well. Once in the Temple, "Jesus stood up and cried out, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, "Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."' Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified" (John 7:37-39).
The Spirit is the spiritual drink that issues forth from Jesus. Forgiveness flows out of the crucified Christ and quenches souls parched by a lack of grace. So draw near to Christ, take a drink, and fill your heart with living water. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
He who His saints in this world rules and shields, To all believers life eternal yields; With heav'nly bread He makes the hungry whole, Gives living waters to the thirsting soul. ("Draw Near and Take the Body of the Lord" LSB 637, st.2)
-Rev. Jacob Ehrhard is the pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church and School in Chicago, IL.
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