SPEAK OR STRIKE THE ROCK?

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Someone said, “The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.” Paul declares twice that the events that happened during the history of Israel were written as examples for our learning and admonition:

“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4); “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come” (1 Corinthians 10:11).

For example, after much complaining to Moses and Aaron about the lack of water to drink in the desert, God gave this instruction to Moses:

“Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water.”…Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank” (Numbers 20:6-11).

God told Moses he would not enter the Promised Land because he had taken the credit for the water instead of giving God the glory (Numbers 20:12). Also, there is a big difference between “speak” to the rock and “strike” the rock.

We learn from this principle that in worship today there is a big difference between “sing” and “play.” The command is to:

do not become foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine (in which is dissipation), but be filled by the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and singing praise in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to the God and Father, (Ephesians 5:17-20 LEB).

The command to Christians is to “speak,” “sing,” “give thanks to God,” and do this “in the name of Christ.” Singing a-cappella—in the style of the New Testament church, is worship authorized by the Lord.

Copyright © 2018 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

Shelby G. Floyd
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana 46142

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