Meat and Drink for God's People
1 Corinthians 10:3, 4
And did all eat the same spiritual meat;…

By a few master strokes of his pen St. Paul indicated the typical significance of Israel's life in the wilderness. His object in these allusions to the Old Testament was to correct party spirit among the Greek Christians of the first century, by showing that, like the tribes of Israel in the old time, the people of Christ are one in respect of their redemption and consolation in him. As all the Hebrew fathers were delivered from slavery in Egypt, so all the Christians are delivered from the bondage of the flesh. As all of them were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and the sea, so all the Christians have been baptized into Christ by death and burial with him. As all of them ate of the manna from the Lord, so all Christians have the same spiritual food; and as all of them drank of the water from the smitten rock in Horeb, so all Christians drink of the same spiritual Rock, which is Christ. Thus what God did for Israel, he did for all; what he gave to Israel, he gave to all that people. It was the fault of the people that this unity was broken. "Some of them were idolaters;" "some of them committed fornication;" "some of them tempted the Lord;" "some of them murmured." Christians should mark this, and beware lest any of them, through temptations to idolatry, fleshliness, or wilfulness, forfeit what the Lord has provided for all of them without respect of persons. Here are the necessaries of the spiritual as of the natural life - food and drink, bread and water.

I. SPIRITUAL FOOD. The Israelites got manna as a direct and free gift from God. Christians receive Christ as "the true Bread which came down from heaven," a direct and a free gift from God. The bread is his flesh which he has given for the life of the world; i.e. Christ nourishes his people through the efficacy of his atonement. Whosoever heartily believes in Christ crucified eats by faith of the flesh which is heavenly bread. The emphasis in this passage lies on the words, "They all did eat the same." In the wilderness, every family of the whole redeemed nation ate daily of exactly the same bread with every other family. Moses himself partook of the manna, and so did the lowest of the people. There was no difference between the princes of Israel and the feeblest in the tribes, between the old people and the children, or between masters and servants. All partook of the same daily bread. So there is the same Christ for all of us. Believers have the same life and the same support or staff of life. No matter what social and intellectual distinctions may be among us, or what varieties of view on secondary points; in this we are at one, that we have the same spiritual food. And we show this when we all partake together of the Lord's Supper.

II. SPIRITUAL DRINK. The water from the rock at Horeb not only supplied the immediate want, but was of use to the tribes of Israel for many days. Now, that rock signified Christ. Jehovah said to Moses, "I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb." So God is now before us in Christ Jesus, able and willing to satisfy all the poor and needy whose hearts faint and" fail them for thirst." Christ as the Rock smitten is a Fountain of life, available to us now, and not now only, but all our lives long. As the bread resolves itself into the flesh, so the stream also into the precious blood of Christ. We eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of man, according to his own teaching at Capernaum. Thus we are again brought to the fact and virtue of the atonement. That which it would be gross and intolerable to eat and drink after a literal and carnal manner, is, after a spiritual manner, full of sweetness and strength. And again, the emphasis is on the participation by all Christians of the same spiritual drink, which is symbolized in the Lord's Supper. "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?" Other Scriptures follow more closely the idea of water gushing from a rocky fountain. As the blood of Christ signifies his atonement, so the water is a sign of the communication of the Holy Ghost. By the former our Lord gives peace to the conscience; by the latter, cleansing and healing to the heart. Christ, our Rock, spoke more than once of his power to impart to all comers the water of life (John 4:10-14; John 7:37-39). And now, as from a height above the plain on which his people still walk as pilgrims, our Saviour in heaven gives this water to the thirsty. To it all are welcome. Water is no luxury for the few, but an acknowledged universal necessary of life; and so a participation of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus is no privilege of a few superlative Christians, but necessary to the inward life of every one who is a Christian at all "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." How can a rock follow? The rock in Horeb did not move from its place, but followed the people in the stream which issued from it and flowed through the lower levels of the wilderness. So Jesus Christ remains at God's right hand; yet is with us always in the continual efficacy of his shed blood and the continual fellowship of his Holy Spirit. The fountain never runs dry. We never find anything less than fulness in him. And there is no need to go on a long pilgrimage to our sacred well. The Rock follows us.

III. HOW TO GET THIS NOURISHMENT. By grace, through faith. When the children of Israel saw the manna, they "wist not what it was." Then Moses told them from God what it was, and bade them gather it, "every man according to his eating." So now, men do not know of themselves what Christ is; but it is preached or proclaimed as from God that this is the true Bread. Take, and eat, and live. Why should any household be without the heavenly Bread? When the rock was smitten, no one stood by but Moses and the eiders, who had gone in advance of the host. One can imagine those elders hastening back to the camp, and calling aloud to the several tribes, "Water! water! He, every one that thirsteth, come to the waters!" Shall we who have found life and peace in Jesus Christ hold our peace? Nay, but we call to every thirsty soul, "Come, and drink, and live." - F.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And did all eat the same spiritual meat;

WEB: and all ate the same spiritual food;

Baptism unto Moses
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