Sh'mot (Exodus) Chapter 17

Sh'mot 17:1-3 Then all the congregation of the sons of Israel journeyed by stages from the wilderness of Seen (Sin), according to the command of the L-RD, and camped at Refidim, and there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people quarreled with Moshe and said, "Give us water that we may drink." And Moshe said to them, "Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the L-RD?" But the people thirsted there for water; and they grumbled against Moshe and said, "Why, now, have you brought us up from Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?"

How often do we do this? We see G-d provide for us again and again but we continue to worry that He will abandon us in our hour of need.

Tehillim (Psalms) 100:5 For the L-RD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting, and His faithfulness to all generations. (NAS)

Sh'mot 17:4 So Moshe cried out to the L-RD, saying, "What shall I do to this people? A little more and they will stone me."

Moshe was afraid of the people killing the messenger. Sometimes the message we are commanded to give is not popular with others. Who do you fear more HaShem or man? We are told to tell them whether they like it or not or whether they want to listen or not. (See also the scroll of Yechezk'el (Ezekiel) 2:4.)

Yeshua like Moshe was in danger of certain people stoning Him.

Yochanan (John) 10:31-42 Then again the Jewish leaders picked up stones to kill Him. Yeshua said, "At G-d's direction I have done many a miracle to help the people. For which one are you killing me?" They replied, "Not for any good work, but for blasphemy; you, a mere man, have declared yourself to be G-d." "In your own Law it says that men are gods!" He replied. "So if the Scripture, which cannot be untrue, speaks of those as gods to whom the message of G-d came, do you call it blasphemy when the one sanctified and sent into the world by the Father says, `I am the Son of G-d'? Don't believe Me unless I do miracles of G-d. But if I do, believe them even if you don't believe Me. Then you will become convinced that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father." Once again they started to arrest Him. But He walked away and left them, and went beyond the Yarden (Jordan) River to stay near the place where Yochanan was first immersing people. And many followed him. " Yochanan didn't do miracles," they remarked to one another, "but all his predictions concerning this man have come true." And many came to the decision that He was the Messiah.

Back to Moshe:

Sh'mot 17:5-7 Then the L-RD said to Moshe, "Pass before the people and take with you some of the elders of Israel; and take in your hand your staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. Look, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horev; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink." And Moshe did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he named the place Massah and M'rivah (Meribah) because of the quarreling of the sons of Israel, and because they tested the L-RD, saying, "Is the L-RD among us, or not?"

Massah means testing.

M'rivah means quarreling

Here we see Israel testing HaShem (Massah) and quarreling with Moshe.

Moshe struck the rock and water came out.

Tehillim (Psalms) 114 When Israel went forth from Egypt, The house of Jacob from a people of strange language; Judah became His sanctuary, Israel, His dominion. The sea looked and fled; The Jordan turned back. The mountains skipped like rams, the hills, like lambs. What ails you, O sea, that you flee? O Yarden (Jordan), that you turn back? O mountains, that you skip like rams? O hills, like lambs? Tremble, O earth, before the L-rd, Before the G-d of Jacob, Who turned the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a fountain of water.

The striking of the rock by Moshe is another foreshadowing of our Messiah being stuck while on the execution stake and water coming out of His side. This rock in the desert was a temporary salvation. Our Messiah is the rock of our eternal salvation.

Tehillim (Psalms) 62:1-2 My soul waits in silence for G-d only; From Him is my Yeshua (salvation). He only is my rock and my Yeshua (salvation), My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken. NAS

Again Israel is a "type" of Messiah. Israel is still being tested and they tempt HaShem. As we mentioned last chapter Yeshua too was tested in the wilderness. HaSatan tried to set Yeshua up to do the same thing. Yeshua set the fallen cherub Ha Satan straight.

Matthew 4:5-7 HaSatan took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "IF You are the Son of G-d, throw Yourself down. For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over you,' and, 'In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone. (cf Ps. 91:11-12) Yeshua said to him, "It is written again, 'You shall not test the L-rd you G-d, and Him only you shall serve.'(cf: Deut. 6:16)

The corresponding letter to this chapter is Peh -mouth; closed or open. In this chapter we certainly see the mouths of the Israelites open and closing complaining to HaShem.

There was nothing in the words or actions of Israel that would cause the L-rd to bless them. He did it anyway for His namesake and for the sake of Moshe. Moshe became their advocate. He pleaded their cause before the L-rd. He alone stopped His wrath against them.

Tehillim (Psalms) 106:6-24 We have sinned like our fathers, We have committed iniquity, we have behaved wickedly. Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Thy wonders; they did not remember your abundant kindnesses, but rebelled by the sea, at the Sea of Suf (Red Sea). Nevertheless He saved them for the sake of "HIS NAME", That He might make His power known. Thus He rebuked the Sea of Suf (Red Sea) and it dried up; And He led them through the deeps, as through the wilderness. So He saved them from the hand of the one who hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy. And the waters covered their adversaries; not one of them was left. Then they believed His words; they sang His praise. They quickly forgot His works; they did not wait for His counsel, but craved intensely in the wilderness, and tempted G-d in the desert. So He gave them their request, but sent a wasting disease among them. When they became envious of Moshe in the camp, And of Aharon, the holy one of the L-RD, The earth opened and swallowed up Datan, and engulfed the company of Abiram. And a fire blazed up in their company; the flame consumed the wicked. They made a calf in Horev (Horeb), and worshiped a molten image. Thus they exchanged their glory for the image of an ox that eats grass. They forgot G-d their Savior, Who had done great things in Egypt, Wonders in the land of Ham, and awesome things by the Sea of Suf (Red Sea). Therefore He said that He would destroy them, HAD NOT MOSHE His chosen one stood in the breach before Him, to turn away His wrath from destroying them. NAS

Who does this give a picture of?

Yes, Yeshua is our advocate before the Father. He stands in the breach too. Only He can turn away the wrath of the Father. There is nothing that we can do or say that is good enough to obtain eternal life. HaShem does bless us anyway with eternal life through His Son Yeshua HaMashiach. In contrast, He did not complain or open His mouth to what the Father commanded of Him.

Yesha'yahu (Isaiah) 53:7-8 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away. And who can speak of His descendants? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people He was stricken. NIV

Sh'mot 17:8-11 Then Amalek came and fought against Israel at Refidim. So Moshe said to Y'hoshua, "Choose men for us, and go out, fight against Amalek. Tomorrow I will station myself on the top of the hill with the staff of G-d in my hand." And Y'hoshua did as Moshe told him, and fought against Amalek; and Moshe, Aharon, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. So it came about when Moshe held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed.

The Amalekites were descendants of Esav (Esau) and attacked Israel unprovoked.

Again we see a future picture of the Messiah on the execution stake. Moshe was victorious only when he held his hands up high holding the stake. This gives us a picture of our Messiah who was victorious against HaSatan when He was on the execution stake.