A few years ago I went through a hard season. I felt lost – over a number of months I came to the conclusion that the counselling career I was embarking on wasn’t for me, and I didn’t know what direction to take. I threw myself into church serving in a big way – creating structure during an uncertain time for me. I busied myself working for God, but silently I doubted God.
At the same time, I was faced with some long-held hurts that I could no longer ignore. I held onto hurts over conflict and disagreement within my family context. I felt angry. That anger came bubbling to the surface, and I didn’t know what to do with it.
Not surprisingly, God used this time to teach me more about myself, and more about Him. At breaking point, I sought the help of a Christian counsellor. At our first meeting, she asked me to read through Psalm 62 and identify where I saw myself in the Psalm. Psalm 62:3 stood out to me, “How long will you attack a man to batter him, like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?”. I told her that I felt like that tottering fence. I felt weak, battered, overcome and overwhelmed by so many things. I wasn’t standing strong in my own strength or in the Lord’s strength.
As I continued to meet with my counsellor, I mediated most days on Psalm 62. God spoke to me through the conversations with my counsellor and through the words of the Psalm. During this time, God showed me that He is my Rock. I clung to the image of God as ‘The Rock’. What brought me through that season was the comfort I found in knowing that God is my Rock.
God is my Rock
In Hebrew, the word for ‘Rock’ indicates firmness, stability and faithfulness. Psalm 89:26 calls on God as the ‘Rock of my Salvation’, pointing to God as a trustworthy and rock-solid saviour*. In 2 Samuel 23:3, David speaks personally to God as the ‘Rock of Israel’. This is how David knew God, he knew God as strong and reliable towards His people, Israel**.
A rock is strong and enduring, pointing to God’s strength. Isaiah 26:4 calls on God’s people to ‘trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock’. God is everlasting, and so is His strength.
When reading through the Bible, it’s hard to miss that the concepts of protection and refuge are often mentioned together in reference to God as a Rock. Rocks are described as places of refuge and protection. A number of Bible passages refer to people hiding in the clefts of rocks, primarily from God’s glory and terror. In Exodus 33:20-22, God says this to Moses, ‘“But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” And the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by”’. If Moses was exposed to God’s glory, he would die. But the cleft of a rock would protect him from God’s glory. A rock is considered strong enough to withstand the glory of the Lord. Similarly, Isaiah 2:10 describes how people will hide in the middle of rocks from the glory of the Lord, ‘Enter into the rock and hide in the dust from before the terror of the Lord, and from the splendour of his majesty’.
Isaiah 17:10 refers to God as our Rock of Refuge. A physical rock may serve as a place of refuge, but He is the true Rock of Refuge: ‘For you have forgotten the God of your salvation and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge’.
A rock is a firm foundation, a solid place to rest or build upon. By calling God the Rock, we are saying that He is a solid and firm foundation, we can rely and stand on Him and the truth of His Word. The psalmist in Psalm 31:3 says to God, ‘For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me’. God is our solid foundation.
God is my Rock of Strength
God is my Rock of Refuge
God is my Rock of Protection
God is my solid foundation
References to God as the Rock are primarily found in the Old Testament. But, what about Jesus? Is He ever referred to as the Rock? In the New Testament there is one instance where Jesus is explicitly referred to as the Rock, 1 Corinthians 10:1-4, ‘For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.’
As God the Father is my Rock, so too is Jesus
Jesus is my protection
Jesus is my strong and eternal saviour
Jesus is my refuge
Jesus is my solid foundation