Thursday, January 30, 2014

Christ the Rock

Well, I thought we were on the verge of getting out of "zombie" mode, but this week Lu decided that she's not ready to fall asleep until midnight.  Brian, Mr. Night Owl, has been fighting a nasty cold so he's gone to bed early each night, leaving me up with a spunky, ready-to-party Lucy-Lu.

There's a pesky tooth struggling to come through her bottom gum - I think that's the culprit to our sleeplessness.  Despite her discomfort, I'm so thankful for her happiness.  She is such a contented baby.

Nevertheless, I decided that THIS is the week I was going to get up early to spend time in the Word and prayer each morning.  That time to reorient my heart and mind before the throne of grace is what I've missed more than anything since Lucy was born last May.  Girltalk recently wrote a great post answering this question How do you get up early when your kids are up all night?  Yes, those suggestions are excellent and have helped sustain me these last 8 months, but there's nothing as sweet as meeting with Jesus in those early morning hours, coffee in hand.

Our church's women's bible study has enjoyed Nancy Guthrie's Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament studies.  Because there hasn't been a women's bible study at church yet this year, I decided to order Nancy's The Lamb of God: Seeing Jesus in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers & Deuteronomy and study it myself.  Today I was immensely encouraged and just had to share what I read.

I love it when I have the "ah-ha" moments when studying God's Word.

The chapter I studied this morning was "Salvation & Provision" from Exodus 13-17.  

The Israelites continued to wander in the desert, quarreling with Moses (17:2), and Moses cried out to God asking Him for advice, for the people were ready to stone him (17:4-5).  God said, "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," (17:6) (emphasis mine).

Nancy Guthrie helps us see how opposite this is: God is standing before Moses.  NOT Moses standing before God.  Here, Moses is the judge. God identifies himself not as judge, but as the rock.  He instructs Moses to strike the rock.  "He [God] will stand in the place of the accused, identifying himself with the rock, and he will bear the judgment the people deserved for their rebellion.  Instead of receiving punishment, they will be flooded with the mercy of a gushing stream of water flowing from the rock," (pg. 107).

We see, as Paul saw, that God (in the person of Jesus Christ) stood on the Rock and was struck with God's just rod of punishment for a guilty people:
For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink.  For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.
I Corinthians 10:1-4

So long ago, using a rock & steam of water, God demonstrated to His people His plan for salvation: strike Christ for sinful rebellion while saving guilty sinners like us.  Wow.

Nancy writes, "Are you seeing that the physical salvation of the Israelites at the Red Sea  provides a picture for us of the spiritual salvation available to all who trust in Christ?" (pg. 108).

So, if we're trusting in Christ the Rock, what is our responsibility?  "Drink. Drink. Drink the living water that flows from Christ alone. Believe in him; enter into a trusting, ongoing relationship with him in which he daily fills you with his own overflowing life and joy," (pgs 107-108).

Today I am drinking deeply.
This is the sweet gospel.
Thank you, Jesus.