A Symbolic Rock

IN DEUTERONOMY 32:4, Jehovah is referred to as a “Rock.” In I Corinthians 10:4, we read concerning the rock from which Moses secured water in the wilderness, “that Rock was Christ.” Does this not prove that Jehovah and Christ are the same person?

A rock is used in both these references in a symbolic manner. The texts do not mean that Jehovah was actually a rock, or that Jesus was a literal rock. In II Samuel 22:2, David is quoted as saying of God, “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer.” Each of these expressions is used to depict the great strength of the Lord, and his saving ability. They do not in the remotest sense imply that the word ‘rock’ is applied exclusively to the Creator.

The rock in the wilderness from which water was obtained for the Israelites is referred to by Paul as a “spiritual rock,” the reason being that it was by the unseen, miracle-working power of God that water gushed forth from it. Paul’s explanation, ‘that Rock was Christ,’ simply means that it was symbolic of Christ, and the life-giving waters he came to provide.

Paul also refers to the manna which fell in the wilderness as “spiritual meat,” and for the same reason. (I Cor. 10:3) It was not provided in a natural way, but by an unseen and unexplained miracle.

Jesus himself drew a lesson from this. We read, “Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” And then Jesus added, “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”—John 6:31-35

Dawn Bible Students Association
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