On Pet Rocks

October 17, 2022 at 5:15 am Leave a comment


During the Christmas season of 1975, the gift to get was a pet rock. Marketed as “genuine” and “pedigreed,” and sold at $4 a rock, this fad made its originator, Gary Dahl, a millionaire. The fad didn’t last, though, because even though pet rocks are very low maintenance, they don’t do what other real pets do. They won’t purr when you pet them like a cat. They won’t follow you around the house like a dog.

But what if one did?

The apostle Paul summarizes Israel’s journeys through the wilderness when writing to the Corinthians:

For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:1-3)

Wait, a rock followed Israel through the wilderness?

Paul is alluding to two stories that serve as bookends for Israel’s wanderings in the wilderness. In Exodus 17, at the beginning of the Israelites’ journey, Moses strikes a rock at Horeb and water pours out of it for the people to drink. Then, in Numbers 20, Moses also strikes a rock, though God had commanded Moses to speak to the rock this time, and water again pours out.

Paul picks up on these two stories and surmises that there must have been one water-filled rock following Israel around through the wilderness. But the real key comes in his identification of that rock: “the Rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:3). Israel’s rock was much more than just a pet. It was a person – the same person who said:

Let anyone who is thirsty come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. (John 7:37-38)

Jesus, Paul declares, followed Israel through the wilderness – providing for them, caring for them, and ultimately, being gracious to them.

When we experience our own wilderness moments – when our souls feel dry and our lives feel difficult – we can rest assured that we have a Rock who follows us into even the driest and most treacherous moments of our lives to water our parched souls and comfort us by His presence.

Our Rock is Christ.

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Entry filed under: Devotional Thoughts. Tags: , , , , , .

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