10/2/17

Lead Me to 'The Rock'

Day after day, my heart grieves as I watch the news in America.

Perversion, division, and now this.

I'm weeping over what happened in Las Vegas. 

And as I weep, I pray.

That's about all I can do these days when I see how twisted we have come.

We have forgotten God as a nation, and even believers are playing around with the truth.
When all around us crumbles, we so desperately need the Rock.
The psalmist said, 
   "...I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I" (Psalm 61:2).

And the psalmist defines that rock.

  • "The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer...." (Psalm 18:2). 
  • "...my God the rock of my refuge" (Psalm 94:22). 
  • "...He will ... set me high upon a rock" (Psalm 27:5).
  • "...he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand" (Psalm 40:2).
  • "...Praise be to my Rock!" (Psalm 18:46).1 Pet 2:4
  • "He alone is my rock ... I shall not be greatly shaken" (Psalm 62:2)
"Rock" is a powerful metaphor. In the Old Testament, Israel greatly identified with the "rock" in times of need. God was Israel's rock in many ways. Here are four:
  1. Provision - God caused water to flow from a rock (Deuteronomy 8:15). 
  2. Protection - God hid Moses in the "cleft" of a rock (Exodus 33:22) and Moses said God, the Rock, provided justice for His people (Deuteronomy 32:4b). 
  3. Perfection - Hannah spoke of God's perfect holiness and said, "neither is there any rock like our God" (1 Samuel 2:2). Moses implied other rocks (other gods) were insufficient refuge (Deuteronomy 32:31, 37); and said the works of Israel's Rock are "perfect" (Deuteronomy 32:4a).
  4. Peace. God is the "Rock eternal," and when we trust in Him, no matter our circumstances we will remain in "perfect peace" (Isaiah 26:3-4).
Sadly, Israel often rejected "the Rock their Savior" (Deuteronomy 32:15, 18).

A rock is associated with solidity, strength and building. The church is built upon the strong foundation of Christ, our Rock of salvation. Paul identifies the Rock as Jesus (1 Corinthians 10:4b). He is the Living Stone, rejected by men, but precious in the Father's sight (1 Peter 2:4).

The "rock" on which Christ builds his church has long been debated, based on Matthew 16:18. It's true that Peter (petros, small stone) was the first to proclaim the Gospel to the Gentiles; and in a sense, his proclamation led to the humble beginnings of the early church.

But Jesus said, "on this rock (petra, foundational boulder) I will build my church." Peter confessed his understanding that Jesus was the Son of God, the Rock, and faith would be the way all others would come to be part of the Body of Christ. The wise man truly does build his house "on the rock," the "chief cornerstone" (1 Peter 2:6-7).

Peter expressed this in 1 Peter 2:4 when he said believers would be "living stones" in a spiritual house.

My childhood church sang "Rock of Ages," and I remember the comforting words, "Let me hide myself in Thee." The third stanza reminds me I can add nothing to the rock of my salvation:

     "Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to Thy cross I cling...."

So as I pray for America today, I am also praying the Lord will show me how to point people to Him, our strength, our comfort, our salvation ... our solid Rock.