Friday, April 17, 2015

The Rock Revisited

This week we return to the Rock. King David’s Psalm 18 portrays a man being delivered from the hand of his enemies, Saul particularly. I give thanks for David as a “man after my own heart.” (Acts 13:22). Although he sinned in many ways, he sought the Lord and found forgiveness and strength for the battle.

I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer, my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.  He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the Lord who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.”(vv.1-3). The strong image presented of God’s immoveable strength and power is very reassuring for me.  I note that in this psalm and most, David calls on the Lord and praises him. Often he cries out to the Lord. Yes, that is what each of us must do in every situation. Do not be wise in your own eyes, but seek the Lord’s wisdom and strength in times of trouble.

The psalm thunders on about God’s intervention. “He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of the deep waters” (v.16). This is reminiscent of several psalms of salvation and healing. I think of Psalm 103:3, “He lifted me out of the pit and filled me with love and compassion.”  Back to Psalm 18:25, “To the faithful, you show yourself faithful.”   I love verse 28, “You O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.”  Remember God is light and in him there is no darkness” (1 John 1:5).

God’s ways are perfect and, “It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect” (vv. 32-33).  He guides us in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake as Psalm 23 tells us. These ways may not be smooth or easy, but they will be his way, the right way to go.

So, what do we do in difficult times? “The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!...I will sing praises to your name” (vv.46,49). I don’t know about you, but as I praise the Lord, I envision his immoveable strength as a Rock. The Rock on the cover of my book, Great is God’s Faithfulness, from Psalm 61 is such a vision and empowering thought for me.  God is faithful and will deliver us through the valleys with his rod and staff. It may not be easy and it may take time, but his ways and timing are perfect and he is making our ways perfect too!

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