Like a Rock !

 

 

 

“The Lord is my Rock”  2 Sam 2:22

 

The bible uses the word “rock”, many times.   The word appears 118 times in the KJV of the bible, and  32 of those times, it refers to our Savior.   Sometimes those references were to our God, as our Savior, and the other times it refers to Jesus Christ.   You’ve heard the phrase, “The Rock of our salvation”.  That phrase was used one time in the bible, in  Psalm 95:1,   “O come let us sing for JOY to the Lord!  Let us SHOUT joyfully to the Rock of our salvation!”  

 

The phrase,  “The Rock of MY salvation” is used 5 times.  “The Rock of HIS salvation”, one time.   When you hear phrases like this, do you think of Jesus, the Christ?  Jesus IS our Savior, isn’t He?   Of the 32 times, that the word “rock” is used in direct reference to “the One who saves us”, how many of those times do you think are from the New Testament?  Do you WANT to know how many times?   Two times, that’s all.  Just twice, the New Testament uses the word “rock” in direct reference to Jesus as the Savior.  There are two  other times that the word “rock” is used to refer to Jesus, but those other two times refer to Him as “a rock of offense”.

 

In  Romans 9:33,  it says,  “Just as it is written;  “Behold I lay in Zion, a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.”   But listen to the rest of that verse..  “And he who believes in Him, will not be disappointed.”   So actually, that same verse, refers to Jesus as a “stumbling block”, AND as a Savior!

 

Listen to this verse..

“..Behold, I lay in Zion, a Choice Stone, a Precious Corner Stone.  And he who believes in Him, shall NOT be disappointed!”  This precious value then, is for you who believe.  But for those who disbelieve;  This Stone which the builders rejected, THIS became the very Corner Stone, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.  For they stumble because they are disobedient to the word.  And to this, they were also appointed.”   1 Peter 2:6-8    Did God create them for the purpose of being disobedient?   No, but it HAS been appointed, that the disobedient should fall!

 

 

I think it might be pretty common, to people to think, that to “stumble” over Christ, or over His words, means to not understand His teachings.  You know, it’s like saying;  I really don’t understand that scripture, I’m “stumbling” over it.  But that’s not what God says “stumbling” is.  God says;  “They stumble, because they are disobedient!”   It’s kind of like the difference between “Standing in grace”  Romans 5:2,  and “Falling from grace”  Galatians 5:4.   It’s the difference between obeying, and disobeying.   If we’re standing in God’s grace, it’s for ONE reason only.  And that’s because we’re standing on the “Rock”, the word of God.   It’s because we’re obeying the “Rock of our salvation.  And if we’ve fallen from grace, or if we’ve never “stood in grace” in the first place, it’s for only one reason, right?  It’s because we’re not obeying what God says.   We’re not DOING it!   You remember that Nike commercial..?    “Just DO it”!

 

So that Rock, can either make us,  “..steadfast, and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord”  1 Cor 15:58.   Or, that same Rock, can make us stumble, and be like  “..the blind leading the blind”   Mathew 15:14.    “And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the pit.”    You know what’s interesting about that statement?   We’re talking about either obeying God’s word, or not obeying God’s word, right?  Well, Jesus had just said, in  V’s 8-9,  “This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.  But in VAIN do they worship Me, teaching for doctrine, the commandments of men.”   So they weren’t obeying God, were they?  They were obeying MAN!   “Teaching for doctrines, the commandments of men.”  And you know what the disciples said to Jesus?   They said,  “Do you know, that the Pharisees were OFFENDED when they heard this statement?”   V-12.    Of course Jesus knew it.  “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.”   That’s Jesus!  

 

 

My Rock and My Fortress

 

My RockThere was a man, after God’s own heart, who said,  “The Lord is my Rock and my fortress and my deliverer!  My God, my Rock, in whom I take refuge.  My shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold!”   Psalm 18:2.   And he said in  Psalm 62:2,  “He ONLY is my Rock and my salvation.  My stronghold!  I shall NOT be greatly shaken!”  

 

Moses spoke of how Israel had forsaken their Rock.  In a “Song of Moses” it says,  “Then he forsook the God who MADE him.  And he scorned the Rock of his salvation.”   Deuteronomy 32:15.    The word “He” is referring to Israel.   “You neglected the Rock who begot you, and forgot the God who gave you birth.”   V-18.  

 

Listen to  1 Cor 10:1-5,  “For I do not want you to be unaware brethren;  that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea.  And all were BAPTIZED into Moses, in the cloud and in the sea.  And they all ate the same spiritual food;  And all drank the same spiritual drink.   For they were drinking from a spiritual ROCK which followed them.  And the Rock was Christ!”   Christ..  The Messiah.   “Nevertheless, with most of them, God was NOT well-pleased;  (Actually it was with all of them except for two)  For they were laid low in the wilderness.”   They “stumbled”, didn’t they?   They stumbled and they “fell” from the grace of God!   Hebrews 3:17  says,  “..Whose bodies FELL, in the wilderness.”   But it wasn’t only their bodies that fell out there in the wilderness, was it?  It was their souls that fell!

 

“And to whom did He swear, that they should not enter His rest, but to those who were DISOBEDIENT.  And so we see, that they were not able to enter, because of UNBELIEF.”    Heb 3:18-19

 

Here’s three sets of synonyms.  Synonyms are “the same”, aren’t they?   So here they are..   Unbelief..  and Disobedience.  they’re exactly the same.   Standing on the Rock..  the cornerstone of our faith..  believing God..  obeying God.  They’re all exactly the same.   Stumbling..  being offended..  disobedience..  teaching for doctrines, the commandments of men..  falling from grace.   ALL the same thing.

 

I want to go back to a verse that I mentioned earlier..  1 Cor 15:58,   “Therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, KNOWING that your toil is not in vain, in the Lord.”   WE, can be steadfast and immovable!  Just like that Rock, that our faith is based on.  As a matter of fact, that’s exactly how we’re supposed to be!   IMMOVABLE.  We are supposed to be “built up in the Lord”,  firm, grounded, and rooted.

 

Wind of DoctrineListen to  Ephesians 4;13-14,  “Until we ALL attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man (or woman), to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.  (Christ the Rock, right?)  As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed about, here and there, by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the deception of men, with regard to the scheming of deceit.”  

 

We should be SOLID in our faith.   We should be, “Like A Rock”!   Do you remember what king David wrote in  Psalm 62:2..   I read it earlier..   “I shall NOT be greatly shaken!”  

 

 

Changes That Come Our Way

 

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying,  “The only thing that remains constant, is change”.   Isn’t that the truth?   Things are constantly changing.   But there’s another saying though,  “The more things change, the more they remain the same”.   What does THAT  mean?

 

River flows to the seaListen to these verses..   They talk about changes, but they talk about how these changes actually, “remain the same”.

From  Ecclesiastes 1:6-10,  “The wind continues going around.. and on it’s circular course, the wind returns”.   “The rivers flow into the sea.. yet the sea is not full.  To the place where the rivers flow, there they flow again.  All things are wearisome, man is not able to tell it.”

The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor is the ear filled with hearing.”   Sometimes we WANT things to change, we’re just never satisfied!   But..  “That which has been, is that which will be.  And that which has been done, is that which WILL be done.”   “Is there anything of which one might say;  See, this is new ?   Already it has existed for ages, which were before us.”  

 

So the things that we think of, as “changes”, are really things that have always happened, they’re just changes to US.   And sometimes these changes are good, but sometimes, they’re NOT so good.   A lot of changes cause grief, and even heartbreak.  But we have to accept a lot of them anyway, don’t we?  There’s nothing we can DO, about a lot of the changes that we face.  Things change, and WE have to adapt.  There’s a pretty little song that talks about changes that we go through, all during our lives, beginning as children.   Some of you will recognize the song, others won’t, but here’s the first verse..

 

“Through the back window,  of our ’59 wagon,   I watched my best friend Jamie,  slipping further away.. 

I kept on waving,  till I couldn’t see her,  and through my tears I asked again, why we couldn’t stay..

Mama whispered softly, time will ease your pain, life’s about changing, nothing ever stays the same. 

And she said how can I help you, say goodbye,   it’s okay to hurt,   and it’s okay to cry..” 

 

God has given us emotions.  They’re a part of us, that we can’t ignore.  Whether we’re children or adults, we all feel emotions.   Imagine how dull, and drab life would be, if we didn’t have any emotions.  The joy and excitement that we feel.   Anticipation, and happiness!   That’s what makes life fun!   At least I think it is.

But then of course, there’s sadness, and nobody likes that, but we have to deal with it, and we have to adapt ourselves.  Just like when a child loses their best friend.  But sad things happen to adults too.  That’s not something that we can ever outgrow, unless we just stop “feeling” altogether.  But that’s not what God wants for us.  He wants us to “feel” for one another.

 

Listen to what God had written for us, in  1 Peter 3:8,  “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one for another, loving as brethren, tenderhearted, humble.  Not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult.  But giving blessing instead.  For you were called for this VERY purpose, that you may inherit a blessing.” 

 

Paul wrote in  Philippians 2:1-4,  “If there is any encouragement in Christ.  If there is any consolation of love.  If there is any fellowship of the Spirit.  If there is any affection and compassion.  Make my joy complete, by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind, let each of you regard one another as more important than himself.  Do not look out for your own personal interests, but for the interest of others.”  We need to USE our emotions, and “feel” for others. 

 

God GAVE us our emotions, and He wants us to “feel”,  doesn’t He?   Even if sadness is a part of what we sometimes feel,  feelings are still good.  But sometimes, things do happen, things CHANGE, and happiness, can change to sadness, and emptiness.

 

Listen to the second verse of the song I mentioned..

“I sat on our bed,..  he packed his suitcase..  I held a picture of our wedding day..

His hands were trembling,  we both were crying.  He kissed me gently,  then he quickly walked away..

I called up mama,  she said time will ease your pain..

Life’s about changing, nothing ever stays the same.. 

 

There’s a lot of things that cause sadness in our lives.  That’s just an example.  But how do we deal with sadness, and emptiness?  We do it through faith!   Faith in the fact that God has something better for us.  Something better than the disappointments of this life.   And faith in the fact that outward circumstances do NOT dictate who we are, and what we are, or how STRONG our faith is!   Even Jesus had a lot of sadness in His life.  Jesus cried, out of compassion, when His friend Lazarus died.

Jesus had compassion on the multitudes, because  “They were wearied, and cast away, like sheep without a shepherd”.   Mathew 9:36.  

 

Jesus WeptJesus said in  Luke 13:34,  “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city who kills the prophets and stones them sent to her.  How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you would not!”  

What wouldn’t they do?  They wouldn’t BELIEVE that Jesus was the Christ!  And Jesus felt the pain that was associated with that.  Try to imagine how that made Jesus feel.  The whole purpose for the Word becoming flesh, and going through everything He went through, and finally being crucified..

The whole purpose of that, was so that ALL people could be saved.  But they wouldn’t!   And think about how many today, simply WON’T.  Sometimes there doesn’t even seem to be any REASON..  They simply won’t.  They simply won’t believe and obey.  How sad, is that..

 

Jesus was an emotional person, but He was also a Rock!  He’s OUR Rock.  Jesus knows how we feel, because he felt all the same things.

“He was tempted in all things just as we, but yet without sin.”  Hebrews 4:15.   And Jesus went through some changes too, just like we do.   He went from living with his natural family, in His own home, however modest it may have been.. 

To living a life of suffering, and not even having “a place to lay His head”.   Luke 9:58.  

 

And I’m sure Jesus had His daily meals, with His family, but then things changed.  Then He spent 40 days and nights in the wilderness, alone, and without ANY food, with only temptation.  Luke chapter 4.  But He’s a Rock!  And He knew that if he endured, He would be doing His Father’s will.

 

And Jesus went from being free, to travel around the countryside, and the towns, teaching and preaching about the kingdom of God..   To being arrested, and whipped, and spit on, and crucified, so that WE could have the forgiveness of our sins.   And STILL, many times, we won’t.  But Jesus endured, all that He had to endure, because He’s a Rock.  And because He had perfect faith, and perfect love.

 

We can feel all the emotions that God gave us, and we can endure all the changes that come in this life, and at the same time, we can have FAITH, like a Rock!

“To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.”   Revelation 2:7.   The bible refers to heaven, as “paradise”.  Nowhere else is paradise, only heaven.   That’s where God the Father is, that’s where God the Son is, and that’s where we want to be..  In the paradise of God. 

 

Fear of DyingDo you know what “change” people fear the most?  It’s death, isn’t it?  That’s the biggest change of our lives!  But we shouldn’t be in fear of it.  And do you know WHY we shouldn’t be?   We shouldn’t fear death, because that’s the ONE change, that we live our whole lives for!   It’s the very purpose of our lives..  to be changed!

We’re told in  1 Cor 15:44,  “..If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.”   V-46  says,  “However the spiritual is not first, but the natural, then the spiritual.” 

 

 

“If a man dies, will he live again?  All the days of my struggle, I will wait, until my change comes.”   Job 14:14.

“Thou will call, and I will answer!”  V-15

 

Jesus said,  “Therefore you too, now have sorrow, but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice!  And no one takes your joy from you.”   John 16:22.   That’s the kind of change we want!

“We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed!”   1 Cor 15:51

 

Remember the song..  “It is well with my soul”?   Here’s the last verse of that song..

“And Lord, haste the day, when the faith shall be sight..

The clouds be rolled back as a scroll..  The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend..

Even so..  it is well, with my soul!”  

 

And here’s the last verse of the other song that I spoke about..

“Sitting with mama,  alone in her bedroom..  she opens her eyes, and squeezes my hand..

She said, I’ve got to go now, my time here is over.. 

And with her final words she tried to help me understand.”

 

We understand, don’t we?  Life’s about changing, nothing ever stays the same, does it?

Well, nothing except God and His word, and Christ the “Rock”,  and a home prepared in heaven for the faithful.  Those things will never change!

And what about our Faith, and our Love,  and our Determination, and our Steadfastness?  Those things never have to change either.  It’s up to us.

 

If you’re not a Christian, you can change that today.  But your faith needs to be like a rock.

If you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God..

And if you are willing to change, by turning from the world, and turning to God, that’s called repenting..

And if you’re faith is strong enough to confess Christ’s name..

THEN,  you can be baptized for the forgiveness of sins, and arise out of baptism, a changed person..  A “new creature, in Christ”.

Then of course you’ll need to continue faithful unto death, and you’ll receive the crown of life.

 

Be “like a Rock”, today!

 

 

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This article has 2 Comments

  1. Jim,

    Thank you for your post, “Like a Rock.” In today’s world things change quickly and often. Your article is a great reminder that we can cope with these changes and live a happy and fulfilled life through our faith in Jesus Christ.

    Did you develop this website for your church? Are you going to use it to promote christian products and services?

    Roy

    1. Thanks for commenting Roy. Exactly the message I wanted to give. Faith like a rock can see us through absolutely anything. Jesus overcame, and so can we. Though we can’t do it perfectly like He did, and without sin. WITH Him we can definitely overcome.

      Yes, the site was developed for the congregation here, with the intent of preaching the gospel to all creation. Mark 16:15. No thoughts of promoting anything else at this time, just the pure word of God. I will be offering free bible study material though. Thanks again Roy, may our God bless you and yours.

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