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The Book of Numbers 0004 - Lesson 2

Scripture Passage: 
Numbers 20:1-11

Chapter 20

Water from the Rock

  1. INTRODUCTION TO CHAPTER
    1. Division of the Chapter
      1. The entrance into Kadesh (Numbers 20:1)
      2. Water for the congregation (Numbers 20:2-13)
      3. The confrontation with Edom (Numbers 20:14-21)
      4. The death of Aaron (Numbers 20:22-29)
    2. Troubles Found in this Chapter
      1. The death of Miriam (Numbers 20:1)
      2. No water for the congregation (Numbers 20:2)
      3. The people rise up against Moses and Aaron (Numbers 20:2-3).
      4. The Israelites blame the wrong people for being in the wilderness (Numbers 20:4-5).
      5. Moses disobeys God concerning the rock (Numbers 20:10-11).
      6. The refusal of Edom to allow Israel passage (Numbers 20:18)
      7. The death of Aaron (Numbers 20:28)
    3. The Time Passed
      1. The beginning of Numbers
        1. The first day of the second month
        2. The second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt
      2. Numbers 9
        1. The LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai.
        2. In the first month
        3. The second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt
      3. Numbers 10
        1. On the twentieth day of the second month
        2. In the second year
        3. The cloud was taken up from off the tabernacle of the testimony.
      4. From Kadesh to the brook Zered (Deuteronomy 2:14)
        1. The space in which we came from Kadesh-barnea, until we were come over the brook Zered, was thirty and eight years.
        2. Until all the generation of the men of war were wasted out from among the host, as the LORD sware unto them
      5. Numbers 20 (Numbers 33:38)
        1. Aaron the priest went up into mount Hor at the commandment of the LORD, and died there.
        2. In the fortieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt
        3. In the first day of the fifth month
  2. THE ENTRANCE INTO KADESH (Numbers 20:1)
    1. The People Abode in Kadesh (Numbers 20:1)
      1. The Israelites had been in Kadesh (Numbers 12:16; Numbers 13:26).
      2. The Lord told them to turn back and go to the wilderness by the way of the Red Sea (Numbers 14:25).
      3. Some of the Israelites tried to take the land without God’s help and were smitten even unto Hormah (Numbers 14:45).
      4. After this they more than likely returned to the camp by the way of the Red Sea.
      5. Now the Israelites come back into Kadesh (Numbers 20:1).
      6. A few thoughts concerning Kadesh
        1. Kadesh means holy or holiness.
        2. Kadesh is also called by the name Enmishpat (which means fount of judgment) in Genesis 14:7.
        3. Kadesh is also called by the name of Kadesh-barnea.
        4. Kadesh is a place of great failure.
          1. The Israelites gave the evil report concerning the land of Canaan in Kadesh.
          2. Miriam died in Kadesh.
          3. Moses smote the rock in disobedience in Kadesh.
          4. Aaron died in Kadesh.
        5. Kadesh was also a place of great victory (Joshua 10:40-43).
    2. The Death of Miriam (Numbers 20:1)
      1. She had led the women (Exodus 15:20-21).
      2. The children of Israel would not journey until she returned from leprosy (Numbers 12:15-16).
      3. She was considered one of the leaders of the Exodus (Micah 6:4).
  3. WATER FOR THE CONGREGATION (Numbers 20:2-13)
    1. The Murmuring of the People (Numbers 20:2-5)
      1. The reason for the murmuring – no water (Numbers 20:2)
      2. The recipient of their murmuring
        1. Moses (Numbers 20:3)
        2. The LORD (Numbers 20:13)
      3. The reality of their murmuring
        1. Their marred viewpoint
          1. We wished we would have died when our brethren died.
            1. Could be a reference to the death of the ten spies (Numbers 14:37)
            2. Could be a reference to the death of Korah (Numbers 16:16-40)
          2. They think Moses is the reason they are in the wilderness.
        2. The truth
          1. They obviously could have followed in either of the above mentioned rebellions and received judgment from God.  These people, however, must have kept their mouths shut at that point.
          2. They could have already been in possession of a land flowing with milk and honey, but they could not trust God enough.
    2. Moses and Aaron Go to the Lord (Numbers 20:6-8).
      1. Moses and Aaron speak to God (Numbers 20:6).
        1. Moses and Aaron go from the presence of the people.
        2. Moses and Aaron go into the presence of God.
        3. They fell upon their faces.
        4. The glory of the Lord appeared.
      2. God speaks to Moses and Aaron (Numbers 20:7-8).
        1. Take the rod.
        2. Gather the assembly together.
        3. Speak unto the rock before their eyes.
        4. It shall give forth water.
        5. Thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock.
        6. Thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.
    3. The Disobedience of Moses and Aaron (Numbers 20:9-11)
      1. Moses took the rod as he was commanded (Numbers 20:9).
      2. Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock as they were commanded (Numbers 20:10).
      3. Moses explodes because of his bitterness (Numbers 20:10).
      4. Moses smites the rock twice instead of speaking to it as he was commanded to do (Numbers 20:11).
      5. God in His grace abides faithful by giving the water (Numbers 20:11).
    4. Interesting Facts about this Rock
      1. The rock
        1. There must have been a certain rock.
        2. The scriptures address it as “the rock” (Exodus 17:6; Numbers 20:8, 11; Deuteronomy 8:15; Nehemiah 9:15; Psalm 78:15-16; Psalm 105:41; Psalm 114:8; Isaiah 48:21).
      2. The rock seemed to have followed them.
        1. In Exodus the rock is located in Horeb (Exodus 17:6).
        2. In Numbers the rock is located in Kadesh (Numbers 20:1, 14).
        3. The Bible says the rock followed them (1 Corinthians 10:4).
      3. The vastness of the water received from the rock
        1. The congregation drank and their beasts also (Numbers 20:11).
        2. Streams and rivers (Psalm 78:15-16; Psalm 105:41)
        3. Standing water or a fountain of waters (Psalm 114:8)
    5. The Typology of the Rock (Numbers 20:8-11; 1 Corinthians 10:1-5)
      1. The smiting of the rock (Exodus 17:1-7) was a picture of the sufferings and crucifixion of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 53:4-6).
      2. Jesus only needed to die once (Hebrews 10:10-14), so the rock only needed to be smitten once.
      3. After the initial smiting, the rock only needed to be spoken to in order to receive the water from it (Romans 10:13).
      4. The water from the rock was a picture of everlasting life through faith in Jesus Christ (John 4:10-14).
      5. The rock was in Horeb at the appointed time and it was in Kadesh at the appointed time, just like our Lord Jesus is always available to supply our need for salvation or otherwise.
      6. The rock had water within itself when there was no water anywhere else to be found.  The Lord Jesus said in the scriptures that He has life within Himself (John 5:26).  In Adam all die but in Christ shall all be made alive.
      7. When the rock was smitten, a fountain opened up (Psalm 114:8).  When Jesus Christ was crucified, out of his side came blood and water (John 19:34).
      8. The rock provided water to the Israelites in Numbers even though Moses disobeyed a direct command of God.  Jesus Christ remains faithful to us even when we are disobedient (2 Timothy 2:13).
Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 3:24

When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.