God in the Psalms No.28
Psa 18:2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
In this verse David pours out a number of descriptions of the Lord. We’ve previously considered the Lord as our fortress (or stronghold) and as our deliverer and so now we focus on the Lord as our rock. Perhaps the best way to remind ourselves of the nature of a rock is to remember Jesus’ parable of the two house builders (Mt 7:24-27), “everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (v.24). In the parable when the floods came the house built on sand was washed away but the one built on rock remained firm. New York is a city which is built on rock which is why so many of its buildings go so high – they have a strong foundation. The picture conveyed is of a firm, fixed and stable foundation.
The picture of a deity as a means of support was not uncommon. Moses comparing the Lord with the gods of other nations, said, “For their rock is not like our Rock” (Deut 32:31). In similar vein Isaiah wrote of the Lord saying, “Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one” (Isa 44:8). Even more, the picture of a rock is of an enduring or lasting support. When we look at mountains made of hard rocks we realize they have been there a long time! Isaiah wrote: “Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.” (Isa 26:4). When all else is shaky or moving, God can be depended upon to be the same, unmovable: “Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go” (Psa 71:3).
The heading over this psalm speak of it being written by David when he had just escaped from Saul. In the historical context we find, “David stayed in the desert strongholds and in the hills of the Desert of Ziph. Day after day Saul searched for him, but God did not give David into his hands” (1 Sam 23:14) and “Saul and his men began the search, and when David was told about it, he went down to the rock and stayed in the Desert of Maon” (1 Sam 23:25). The place of refuge for David was evidently a rocky outcrop in the midst of a desert. What a picture! All around is sandy wasteland that is barren and unstable, and David finds his security in a rocky outcrop. Thus is the Lord to us, a rocky, stable outcrop in the midst of a dry and barren and unstable world.
In the world everything is constantly changing. The early part of the twenty-first century has been characterized by natural disasters as well as human wars and conflicts and terrorist activity around the world. It is an unstable place. Postmodernism is a way of thinking that doubts and questions the assurances of the previous scientific age. Cynicism is a common characteristic. The old adage of “Been there, done it, got the tee-shirt” might now be changed to “Been there, done it, and it doesn’t work.” People have tried alternative life-styles, for example cohabitation instead of marriage – and are finding it doesn’t work! Constant change is because we have been unhappy or even disillusioned over what has gone before. Where is something that is stable, unchanging and trustworthy? Here He is! The Lord, our Rock. All else changes but the Lord is unchanging. When we speak of the Lord’s love, His goodness, His kindness or whatever other characteristic that He has, it is ALWAYS there, it never changes. We may drift away from the Lord but when we come back, we find He is still there, unchanging, still as faithful as ever, with his arms of love reaching to us. He is our Rock! Hallelujah!