This scripture was given to me at a time when I was extremely dry. Many were telling me that I could not sing. God was calling me to ‘sing’ anyway, to ‘sing to the well’, the well from which living waters spring up.
From there they continued on to Beer, the well where the LORD said to Moses, “Gather the people together and I will give them water.” Then Israel sang this song: “Spring up, O well! Sing about it, about the well that the princes dug, that the nobles of the people sank – the nobles with scepters and staffs.
The people were thirsty in the desert with no water in sight. Look what the Lord instructs — gather together. What do the people do? Sing! Sing while they are still thirsty – before they see any water, any results. Singing while thirsty is an act of faith — being certain in spirit before any evidence is detected by normal senses (John 20:29). Note that it is the nobles of the people who dug the well. This reference to the nobles with scepters and staffs is interesting. Some think this is a reference to Moses striking the rock previously mentioned in Numbers 20.
Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel…
Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank.
Singing to the well appears to be linked with striking the rock, the rock from which abundant waters flow. This is further supported by the commentary on the following verse where Christ is the spiritual Rock.
…and all drank the same spiritual (supernaturally given) drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.
(1 Corinthians 10:4)
Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:4
** as meaning that not the rock, but the water from the rock, followed after them in their wanderings (Deuteronomy 9:21). There can, however, be little or no doubt that St. Paul refers to the common Jewish Hagadah, that the actual material rock did follow the Israelites in their wanderings. The rabbis said that it was round, and rolled itself up like a swarm of bees, and that, when the tabernacle was pitched, this rock came and settled in its vestibule, and began to flow when the princes came to it and sang, “Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it” (Numbers 21:17). It does not, of course, follow from this allusion that St. Paul, or even the rabbis, believed their Hagadah in other than a metaphorical sense. The Jewish Hagadoth – legends and illustrations and inferences of an imaginative Oriental people – are not to be taken au pied de la lettre. St. Paul obviates the laying of any stress on the mere legend by the qualifying word, “a spiritual Rock.” And that Rock was Christ. The writings of Philo, and the Alexandrian school of thought in general, had familiarized all Jewish readers with language of this kind. They were accustomed to see types of God, or of the Word (Logos), in almost every incident of the deliverance from Egypt and the wanderings in the wilderness. Thus in Wisdom.. 10:15 and 11:4 it is Wisdom – another form of the Loges – who leads and supports the Israelites. The frequent comparison, of God to a Rock in the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 32., passim; 1 Samuel 2:2; Psalm 91:12, etc.) would render the symbolism more easy, especially as in Exodus 17:6 we find, “Behold, I [Jehovah] will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb.”
The rock flowed when the princes sang to it — princes with scepters and staffs. When Moses strikes the rock with his rod water also flows, and there is abundant drink for all. Like Moses’ rod, the scepters and staffs are a symbol of God given authority. Striking the rock with God given authority is compared to singing to the well with authority. This really opened my eyes. The ‘Rod of Jesse’ comes to mind and this passage.
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him – the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD – and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. (Isaiah 11:1-4)
‘The rod of his mouth’, isn’t that what was being used as the people sang to the well for water? This is especially interesting in light of the Numbers 20 passage. Moses strikes the rock with his rod out of disobedience in this passage; he disobeys the Lord’s command to speak to the rock (Numbers 20:8). As a result Moses could not lead the people of Israel into the promised land. The Lord probably told Moses to speak to the rock because it was already stricken in the Exodus 17 passage. This fits with the Rock being Jesus; Jesus the Rock has already been stricken (Isaiah 53). Hence, there is no need to strike the Rock again, speaking or singing to the rock is sufficient. The authority of the truth of the word when spoken out or sung out is powerful; it has the potential to affect the whole earth! The Lord sends His word forth thru the mouths of His people. His word does not return empty, it accomplishes the purposes for which He sent it.
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
Notice in this process the earth is watered. The Rock and those who believe in Him have a well of living water that flows forth (John 4:14, John 7:38-39). There is seed for the sower and bread for the eater. There is also joy, peace, song and rejoicing. Do you see the abundance again (John 10:10)? The Lord can accomplish much thru His people who deliver His word in His authority! There is something that can enhance this process even more — our understanding of the word being released thru us. When we understand the word that the Lord is giving us to speak or sing even more of His power to accomplish His purposes is released. How can we gain this understanding? By ‘dipping your rod in honey and then putting it in your mouth’. When Jonathan did this ‘his eyes were brightened’ (1 Samuel 14:27-29). How can we dip our rods in honey before we speak the Lord’s words? We can ‘eat’ His words, the bread of life.
How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Eating His word seems to be a condition for keeping our eyes open thru the watches of the night (Psalm 119:147-148). The Lord also gives songs in the night (Job 35:10, Psalm 42:8). Singing these songs with open eyes, His living water abundantly flows. It flows thru the night until the morning dawns (Psalm 30:5, Psalm 59:16, Psalm 90:14).
Sing to the Well!
Come, eat, eat the bread of life the word of God —
Dip your rod in my honey
Place the sweetness of my word in your mouth
That you may be awake with your eyes open
Your love for me kept strong and alive to sing
Sing thru the watches of the night.
Sing, Sing to the well!
Sing though you are thirsty, though you are dry
Though it is dark so dark thru the watches of the night
Sing even when no water is in sight
Let the rivers flow
Living water, streams from the Rock
Sing, Sing to the Rock!
Let His words spring forth
Striking the earth with the rod of His mouth
Sing, Sing to the well!
See the waters rise
Abundant drink supernaturally given
Come! Whoever is thirsty, let him come
Sing, Sing to the well!
Drink from the Rock
The Rock, the Christ
Take the free gift of
The water of life.
How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume than any spice! Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride; milk and honey are under your tongue. The fragrance of your garments is like that of Lebanon. You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain. You are a garden fountain, a well of flowing water streaming down from Lebanon.
(Song of Solomon 4:10-12, 15)
I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word. My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises.
The Spirit and the bride say, Come! And let him who hears say, Come! Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.