Old Testament Summary Lesson 17: “Beware Lest Thou Forget”
- How Are You Using Your Anchors? The Children of Israel did so poorly in keeping a “spiritual” standard that Moses endeavored to give them a more “physical” standard. The advantage of having physical items as “anchors” to keep reminding us of spiritual goals is evident and useful. However, to many people like the Children of Israel, the physical aspects became more important than what they should be reminders of.
- The Rock: The term “Rock of Salvation” is precious in Jewish terminology. In many Jewish quotes, the references to “rock” have been made for emphasis. In the Ashkenazi rite, a hymn called Ma’oz Zur (O Fortress, Rock of my salvation) is sung. “He is my God, my Redeemer, my Rock in time of trouble.”
- Who Is Your Rock? There is another sensitive parallel to be seen in the lesson Moses learned as he struck the rock. Giving “Living Water” to the Israelites, Moses was reminded who the real “Rock of Salvation” was. Peter (a Greek nickname for Simon), son of Jonah, who, when sinking in the Sea of Galilee cried out to the Lord, “Save me,” was probably being taught – as Moses was – who the real “Rock of Salvation” was.
- Got Two Chairs? The Jews are still waiting for the prophets Moses and Elijah to return. Two seats are traditionally and historically reserved for them in every synagogue. At one of the early meetings of the “Bnai Shalom” group (Jewish/Mormon cultural group), the late Apostle LeGrand Richards once remarked that he saw two beautifully decorated chairs fastened to the wall of a synagogue he was visiting. Knowingly, he asked the Rabbi, “What are those two chairs for?” The reply came quickly that they were being kept for Elijah and Moses. Elder Richards, seizing the moment and using his wonderful sense of humor said, “Get them down, they’ve already been here!”