took his rod and struck a rock, producing water for the some two million Israelites as well as for their animals. (Ex. 17:5-7) Near the end of their forty-year trek Moses again struck a rock and water gushed forth for that huge congregation.—Num. 20:1-11.
How did they drink in a literal way from a “rock-mass that followed them”? While the rock Moses initially struck did not roll along after them for all those years, the fact is that they had divinely provided water from a rock-mass on at least two occasions, one near the beginning and one near the end of the forty years. So the literal water might be said to have followed them in that sense. Or, when the water was provided in such enormous amounts, it might have been somewhat of a river that “followed” them or went along with them, kept up with them, in that they could drink from it for a while as they journeyed.
But how is this suggestive of a way that those Israelites back there partook of spiritual provisions that followed or went along with them? The Israelites were expecting the “seed” promised to Abraham, Shiloh who was to come. (Gen. 22:18; 49:10) The sacrifices and ceremonies connected with their sins and their need for forgiveness pointed to the Messiah, the antitypical “rock-mass.” As Paul wrote in other places: “The Law has a shadow of the good things to come,” and, “The Law has become our tutor leading to Christ, that we might be declared righteous due to faith.” (Heb. 10:1; Gal. 3:24) So, along with providing literal food and drink for the Israelites, God provided spiritual sustenance which followed them or went along with them through the wilderness. The spiritual things relating to the Messiah could sustain their hope and spiritual life.
When Jesus did come as the Messiah, there flowed out from him spiritual waters of life and provisions far more valuable than those literal things given the Hebrews. Jesus said: “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. He that puts faith in me, just as the Scripture has said, ‘Out from his inmost part streams of living water will flow.’” (John 7:37, 38) Many Israelites who drank from the rock-mass in the wilderness did not even enter into life in the Promised Land. But to the later Jews who did not stumble over Jesus as the “rock-mass of offense,” Christ gave spiritual waters that became “a fountain of water bubbling up to impart everlasting life.”—Rom. 9:32, 33; John 4:14, 15.
WHAT IS YOUR VIEW OF EVOLUTION?
What view do you take of the origin of life and the beginning of man’s existence? Do you hold to the commonly accepted teachings of evolution? What do you personally know of the evidence for the belief? In recent months hundreds, yes, thousands of persons have been amazed to learn that there is actually another side to this subject, an opposing one, yet one that has factual evidence to support it as well as reason and scientific argument. Obtain and examine carefully the book Did Man Get Here by Evolution or by Creation? It is only 25c. Your life and future are involved.
Millions of persons are in bondage to superstition and false religion. Shackled by doctrines that are contrary to the Bible, they are in fear of mortal men and religious systems. But the truth that Jesus Christ taught can free them. All who would be free today and who would stay free spiritually need to follow that Fine Shepherd and walk in the paths of divine truth. First, however, people must wake up to their bondage to religious superstition and falsehood. To help people wake up and break free and stay free by means of God’s truth, Jehovah’s witnesses are offering in their ministry during the month of October a year’s subscription for the Awake! magazine, with three Bible-study-aid booklets, on a contribution of $1.
“WATCHTOWER” STUDIES FOR THE WEEKS
November 10: Man’s Rule About to Give Way to God’s Rule, ¶1-23. Page 616. Songs to Be Used: 19, 59.
November 17: Man’s Rule About to Give Way to God’s Rule, ¶24-46. Page 622. Songs to Be Used: 10, 90.