Today’s blog entry is related to blog number 55 entitled “The Rock.” As I was giving some thought to the situation recorded in the old testament book of Numbers chapter twenty and the issue related to the complaints of the Israelites not having any water to drink while in the desert and the issue of the Samaritan woman story recorded in the Gospel of John chapter four, as she shows up to draw water from Jacob’s well, it occurred to me that “thirst” was the underlying issue in both stories.
What I hold up for us to consider is that “the rock” was present in both accounts. After the Presence of God was realized by Moses and the instructions were given to him by God to “speak to the rock,”so water would flow from it in order to satisfy the Israelite’s thirst, the anger of Moses was kindled against the children of Israel due to their attitude and the things they said to him. Moses decides to strike the rock rather than to speak to it.
In the story of the Samaritan women encountering Jesus of Nazareth at Jacob’s well, at first she does not know who he is. She recognizes him to be Jewish and that recognition raises the issues as to why this Jewish male would initiate a conversation with her, a Samaritan and a woman. When through their conversation she discovers this Jewish male must be a prophet to know things about her even though she had no recollection of a prior relationship, she changes her Samaritan defensiveness and begins to talk spiritual language.
Jesus decides to tell her that he had access to “living water” whereby she would never thirst again and all she needed to do was ask for it. She continues to confuse the differences between spiritual and physical thinking perhaps that this living water would keep her from having to go to the well to draw water ever again. So he simply invites her to go and fetch her husband and then she lowers her defenses becoming vulnerable telling him she has no husband. As Jesus continues to speak truth to her, she raises the subject of the Messiah saying she knew the Christ was coming.
As Jesus reveals himself to her to be the Messiah, I believe something miraculous occurs within her whereby the living water he had described earlier began to spring up from within her. The difference between these two stories has to do with our awareness of “the Rock.” Water flowed from the Rock in both stories. The old testament story was a physical premonition of a spiritual reality. The Poet indicates in Psalm 18:2, “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower.”
The Apostle Paul indicates that Jesus is the Rock. This Rock speaks to us from within us. When we speak to the Rock rather than striking the Rock we can be assured that anger is not motivating our conversation. This Samaritan woman spoke to The Rock and Living Water flowed from the recesses of her inner being and as a result her whole village experienced the Living Water that quenches our spiritual thirst!