The Natural and the Supernatural
Psalm 114:8
Which turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters.

Which turned the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a fountain of waters (Revised Version). Wollaston tells us that "on the north-eastern face of Mount Sinai (Jebel Sufsafeh), in the Wady Shubeib, is a protruding mass of rock, about fifty feet in diameter, much water and weather-worn, and presenting a smooth and striking appearance. It forms a part of the solid granite cliff which rises twelve hundred feet above it. In the lower part of this protuberance is a fissure of a semicircular, or rather horse-shoe, shape, about four feet tong and four inches wide. Oat of this fissure, inside which a small shrub is growing, runs a perpetual stream of the purest spring water, clear as crystal, and of delicious coolness and flavor, which, according to the testimony of the Arabs, has never been known to fail. The water thus flowing out of the very heart of the living rock of Sinai is received into an artificial basin, thence it descends to a succession of small and rudely constructed terraces, where the Bedouins cultivated a few fruit trees and vegetables, and is ultimately absorbed in the gravelly hollow at the base of the mountain." The incident is, no doubt, thus poetically recalled to the mind of the restored exiles, in order to assure them that God, in his power to provide, and his power to meet emergencies, was all that he had ever been; and this suggests a very suitable subject of meditation, which may be very effectively applied to our times and needs. But a less usual topic is suggested by the discovery of what is probably the very spring that Moses brought to light. As our knowledge advances, we are coming more and more fully to apprehend that the natural and the supernatural are inextricably blended in human life, and that in God's working out of his purposes the natural and the super natural are one. See how this is suggested by the smiting of the rock and the result which followed. No one would suggest that God put the water into the rock specially and on purpose for the Israelites. It was there. It was its natural habitat. The fountains of water, the pools into which the waters drain, are always in the rocks. Miners have to be careful lest they let in upon them the floods of waters that are stored in the rocks. Our towns are often supplied with water that is pumped up from the reservoirs of the rocks. It was quite natural for the water to be in the rock. And man brings the water out of the rock by smiting the rock. Just now the workmen of our town have been engaged in tunneling the chalk rock to get a fresh supply of water; and the other day a workman, smiting with his pick, opened a fissure, from which a stream is pouring abundantly. To get water out of the rock by smiting the rock was also quite natural. It is fancy that makes Moses only give the rock a gentle pat. He smote it; on the second occasion he even roughly smote it twice before the fissure opened. So far the provision was natural, and the method of obtaining it also natural. But how evidently the supernatural was blended with the natural! Direct Divine direction fitted the time and the place. No mere human wisdom could have thus immediately discovered the exact spot where the rock would yield to a single smiting, and send forth its treasures. Only a divinely ordered man would think of such a way of relieving the necessities of a caravan. The supernatural character of the incident comes at once to view if we think of the leader of an ordinary caravan in that Sinaitic district going about tapping the rocks, hoping to meet with a fissure in which was a water-store. God directed Moses, and he went straight to the place. And the marvel that grows ever greater to devout souls, as they pass through the experiences of life, is not the mere presence of supernatural forces, but the way in which the super natural blends with the natural, until the deepest feeling is that the natural is lost in the supernatural and God, working everywhere, in everything and through every thing, becomes the most cherished thought. Men make sharp lines of distinction between the natural and the supernatural. When men come experimentally to know what God can do in their own souls and in their own lives, they cease to feel any interest in those sharp lines of distinction, for their sphere is the sphere of God. To them there is no natural. God is in it all, and his presence and actual working makes it all supernatural. - R.T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Which turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters.

WEB: who turned the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a spring of waters.

The Removal of Obstacles
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