Strike the Rock {or How to Live the Perfect Life p.3}

No. C.S. Lewis did not paint a metaphorical magic with images of God sitting on a dock, like a child dangling bare feet over sun-cracked decks, and laughing as the tides tickled His toes. The dock of God in the Dock is a witness stand.  A seat of judgement.  A place of guilty verdicts. And we {Yes, you and I!} daily [put] God in the dock.

I know, I know. They did it too!  {The Israelites are good are setting bad examples.}

You brought us up out of Egypt out into this dry and barren desert. And for what end?  That we and our children and our livestock may become feed for the vultures?  We are thirsty! Is the Lord among us or not? {Exodus 17:2-3, paraphrased}

Yes. Our favorite scape goats threw God in the dock, too.  I get it.  But did you ever stop to read just how God responds?

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 17:6}

Did you catch it?  Do you see? God takes a seat. He accepts the punishment. Openly! Before all the watching people.

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God doesn’t stand among them, or beside them, or even within them.  {although that will come later}.  No. God stands on the rock, on the witness stand. The innocent becomes the guilty.  The victim becomes the villain.  God gets in the dock.

“Take your best shot,” He cries. “Go ahead. Strike with all you’ve got.”

And right then, right there God and invites Moses to strike the rock.  To let the Israelites take their swings, hurl their accusations, and make their case. To file charges against the One who charged the manna to rain and the quail to fly. To strike God himself, for He is not only on the rock. He is the rock. {Psalm 18:31}

And water shall come out of it [out of Him] and the people will drink. {Exodus 17:6, additions mine}

Sound familiar?

One of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. {John 19:34}

He is the Rock of our Salvation.  And as such, He can take the hits.  He can absorb our accusations, suffer our allegations, endure our misguided indictments.  And water shall come out of Him, and the people will drink.

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Quenching water in exchange for thirsty blame.  Cleansing water in exchange for muddy and maligned accusations.  Calm, cooling water in exchange for impassioned indictment.

For perfect love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things {1 Cor 13:7}.  And then. Even then. When all my sound and fury finally subside, He releases water like a river from His heart.

My perfect is so not His perfect.  In my quest for the perfect life, like my favorite scapegoats, I wander the wilderness focused upon the dry and barren land.  I’m thirsty to blame someone, anyone {other than myself} for losing my “perfect” life.  And I too accuse God of leaving me to die, alone in my dessert.

But, there is Good News. {Isn’t there always Good News?}  Just like He loved the Israelites, my God, my Rock loves me.  His perfect love washes over my imperfect life like a river.  And no matter how many times I strike the Rock, I am still His.  And He is still the Rock of my Salvation. 

Q4U: Do you strive after the perfect life, too?  When are you most tempted to strike the Rock?

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