#2 - A ROCK

 The previous thought for the week looked at the concept of God as 'Shepherd'. This focused on his tender, compassionate care.

This week we look at quite a different image: that of God as a 'Rock', not such a rock that a person can hold in their hand, but a rock that is so huge that a whole battalion of soldiers could find shelter and protection within it.

In Australia we have Uluru - a massive landmark in the Northern Territory, claimed to be the largest rock in the world. It stands alone, unique, immoveable. It dominates the landscape, rendering everything else insignificant and puny.

When the Bible refers to God as 'a Rock' it refers to his absolute uniqueness:

'There is no one holy like the LORD;
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God' [1 Samuel 2:2]
'For who is God besides the LORD?
And who is the Rock except our God?' [2 Samuel 22:32; Psalm 18:21]]

A more common biblical reference to God as a rock is that God is a place of refuge: a place of safety and protection:

'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.' [Psalm 18:2]
 'Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.
Since you are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake of your name lead and guide me' [Psalm 31;2,3]
 'My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken' [Psalm 62:2]
'In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
Rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness;
turn your ear to me and save me.
Be my rock of refuge,
to which I can always go ...
for you are my rock and my fortress' [Psalm 71:1-3]

The significance of God as 'Rock' is clear: this image focuses on security, safety and shelter. God is our Rock: the one place where human beings can find a strong, stable, unchanging, dependable refuge in a world of constant change, threat and insecurity; the one place where we can find sure salvation from the ever-present sin and condemnation that hound us.

We were not created to 'go it alone'. We were created to live in a relationship of trust in and dependence on this God who calls himself 'the Rock'.  When we do, when we come to him for salvation, when we depend on him as our Saviour, we find that he, our Rock, is also the focus of our praise:

'The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted be God my Savior!' [Psalm 18:46]

Other Scriptures: Deuteronomy 32:3-4; 2 Samuel 22:2-3, 47; Psalms: 19, 31, 42,  89, 92, 94, 95, 144; Isaiah 26:1-4.